Following pressure from the corruption scandal, Austria’s current Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has resigned.

Alexander Schallenberg has been suggested by the Foreign Minister to be his replacement.

Mr Kurz and nine others were placed under investigation after raids at a number of locations linked to his conservative ÖVP People’s Party.

He denied claiming he had used state money for positive coverage of tabloid newspapers.

His coalition government, which was formed by the Greens as its junior partner in the crisis, fell precariously after the allegations. Kurz claimed that he is no longer fit for the role of chancellor.

Greens started talks with the opposition parties who threatened to vote no confidence in the chancellor next Wednesday.

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What’s urgent is stability. Kurz declared his resignation as he said, “To resolve this impasse, I want to stand aside to avoid chaos.”

He indicated that he will remain the leader of his party as well as continue to be a member of parliament.

“First, and foremost, however I will use the opportunity disprove all the allegations against my,” he said.

Mr Kurz became leader of the ÖVP in May 2017 and led his party to victory in elections later that year – becoming, at the age of 31, one the world’s youngest ever democratically-elected heads of government.

The corruption allegations relate to the period between 2016 and 2018, when finance ministry funds were suspected to have been used to manipulate opinion polls in favour of the ÖVP.

The Prosecutors’ Office for Economic Affairs, Corruption released a statement Wednesday stating that Kurz, as well nine other people, and three organizations, were under investigation on suspicion of “breach of trust…corruption…and bribery…partly with different levels”

Prosecutors conducted raids on the chancellery and the finance ministry earlier in the day. They also searched the homes and offices senior aides of the chancellor.

Kurz says the charges against him are “baseless.”

In May, he was subject to an additional investigation. He is accused of making false statements to a Parliamentary Commission.


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