After Sebastian Kurz resigned due to corruption investigation, Alexander Schellenberg was sworn in as Austrian Chancellor

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Former Foreign Minister Schellenberg was sworn in by President Alexander Van der Belen at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. The 52-year-old Schellenberg is a professional diplomat and a close ally of the former prime minister.

Kurz will continue to lead the center-right Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and will continue to serve as a member of the Austrian Parliament.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office told CNN on Sunday that Kurz “receives the full support of the People’s Party”.

Opposition politicians said that this means that Kurtz will effectively continue to control the country, but Schellenberg is a puppet, and Schellenberg is relatively new to politics and the ÖVP party.

Pamela Rendi-Wagner, the leader of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPÖ), said that Kurtz will remain a very influential figure.

On Saturday, Kurz announced that he would step down. A few days before his office was raided by Austrian prosecutors to investigate suspected bribery and breach of trust by him and his team members.

Sebastian Kurz resigned as Chancellor of Austria on October 9, 2021, just days after he was embroiled in a corruption scandal.

Austrian prosecutors announced on Wednesday that the 35-year-old man was under investigation for claiming that government funds were used to ensure positive coverage in the daily newspaper.

Kurz said the corruption allegations against him were “false” and denied that he used government funds for political purposes, but said: “I want to make room for stability.”

Opposition parties have threatened to vote of no confidence in Kurz in parliament on Tuesday.

According to the public service broadcaster ORF, Van der Bellen said last weekend that people’s trust in Austria’s political system has been “a huge blow” and it is now up to politicians to repair the damage through “serious and concentrated work.”

“Manipulate” results

According to a statement from the Austrian Attorney General’s Office of Economic Affairs and Corruption (WKStA), Kurz and nine other individuals and three organizations are under investigation.

According to prosecutors, as part of the investigation, raids were carried out in multiple locations (including two government departments) last Wednesday.

“Between 2016 and at least 2018, the Ministry of Finance’s budgetary funds were used to fund investigations based solely on political motives of political parties, sometimes by a public opinion research company for political parties and their senior management,” the WKStA statement said . .

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz resigns over corruption scandal

The statement read: “The findings of the investigation have been published in the editorial department of an Austrian daily newspaper and other media belonging to the same group (not declared as advertisements), adding that “the alleged payment was made in return for the media company. .”

The Austrian media has identified the daily newspaper involved in the case as a tabloid-style daily newspaper Österreich (Austria). The newspaper denied these allegations and denied any wrongdoing in several columns published this week.

Kurz formed an alliance with the far-right Liberal Party in 2017 and led ÖVP into the government, turning the 2015 influx of refugees into ballot box winners.

At a time when Chancellor Angela Merkel’s control of neighboring Germany seemed to be weakening, he came to power. Although he often insists on his support for European projects, he seems to be keen to remove at least some of her welcoming attitudes towards immigrants and put the European continent on a tougher path.

In May 2019, he and his government lost a vote of no confidence, after a secretly filmed video by his vice-principal Heinz-Christian Strache (Heinz-Christian Strache) sparked a corruption scandal. But they returned to power after winning the general election in September of the same year.

Kara Fox, Martin Goillandeau and Niamh Kennedy of CNN contributed to the report.

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