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Austria’s Kurz will win election but has hard choices

Wednesday, June 5, 2019


Austria's election outlook.


Austria will hold early elections in September, with an interim technocratic government, after former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz lost a no-confidence vote tabled by the opposition Social Democrats (SPO). The vote came after a video emerged showing Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the far-right Freedom Party (FPO), which was in government with Kurz’s People’s Party (OVP), allegedly discussing bribes. The OVP will likely gain from the no-confidence vote, which many voters see as political manoeuvring to oust Kurz rather than as prioritising political stability and the national interest.


  • An interim government may hamper Austria's ability to negotiate with full authority in talks regarding candidates for key EU jobs.
  • Austria will adopt a more reserved stance on Russia now that the FPO does not run the foreign ministry.
  • Kurz's main threat until September will be the FPO, which may use evidence from its time in government to undermine him.

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