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Austria’s Sebastian Kurz steps down as chancellor amid new corruption scandal

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Saturday said he’s resigning amid a corruption probe that threatened to unravel his ruling coalition. Kurz, who’s replaced by his FM, denies the allegations, vowing to fight to clear his name.

Kurz said in a televised statement on Saturday that he is relinquishing his role as chancellor and will become leader of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) in parliament as he works to clear his name of graft allegations. He called for Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Schallenberg to replace him as chancellor.

NEW: Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz resigns amid corruption claims, which he denies. Foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg will replace him. In televised statement he’s just finished, Kurz says he’ll become ÖVP leader in Austrian parliament & fight to clear his name. pic.twitter.com/GmfM7GTnp3

— Andrew Connell (@andrewiconnell) October 9, 2021

The move averts a “no-confidence” vote after Austria’s Greens Party, which had campaigned on a promise of “clean politics” before joining the ÖVP-led ruling coalition last year, called on Kurz to step down. Prosecutors said on Wednesday that they were targeting Kurz and nine others on suspicion of bribery and other corruption offenses.

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Austria’s Chancellor Kurz & 9 others under investigation for breach of trust, corruption, and bribery after police raids

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