Austria ruling party picks Nehammer for chancellor

After 24 hours of political turmoil, Austria’s ruling People’s Party has chosen Interior Minister Karl Nehammer to take over as leader of both party and country. Mr Nehammer will be the party’s third choice of chancellor in weeks, after Sebastian Kurz stood down in October. Mr Kurz is under investigation after he was implicated in a corruption scandal. On Thursday he stepped down as party leader, prompting his replacement as chancellor to say he would resign too.

Alexander Schallenberg said he was convinced the country should be run by the same person as the ruling party leader. The People’s Party (ÖVP) is in coalition with the Greens, who withdrew their support for Mr Kurz when prosecutors said they were investigating him. Mr Nehammer told reporters it was a great honour and privilege: “Today I was unanimously appointed by the ÖVP leadership as party head and at the same time as candidate for federal chancellor.” The Greens will not stand in his way, so he will become chancellor as soon as his swearing-in ceremony is agreed with President Alexander Van der Bellen.

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