The Austrian chancellor is stepping down amid a corruption probe

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Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Saturday that he plans to step down.

Lisa Leutner/AP

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Lisa Leutner/AP

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Opposition leaders had called for Kurz to go and planned to bring a no-confidence motion against him Tuesday in parliament.

«What we need now are stable conditions,» Kurz told reporters in Vienna. «So, in order to resolve the stalemate, I want to make way to prevent chaos and ensure stability.»

Kurz and his close associates are accused of trying to secure his rise to the leadership of his party and the country with the help of manipulated polls and friendly reports in the media, financed with public money. Kurz, who became the People’s Party leader and then chancellor in 2017, has denied wrongdoing and until Saturday made clear he planned to stay on.

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In Saturday’s statement, he insisted again that the accusations against him «are false and I will be able to clear this up — I am deeply convinced of that.»

Kurz said he will keep his party’s leadership as well as becoming its parliamentary group leader.

Kurz’s first coalition with the far-right Freedom Party collapsed in 2019. The chancellor pulled the plug after a video surfaced showing the Freedom Party’s leader at the time, Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, appearing to offer favors to a purported Russian investor.

  • Austria


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