WorldAustria: Alexander Schallenberg sworn in as new Chancellor

Austria: Alexander Schallenberg sworn in as new Chancellor


AA / Vienna / Askin Kiyagan

After the resignation of Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz following the opening of a corruption investigation against him and his party, former Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg was sworn in as head of government on Monday .

President Alexander Van der Bellen, who appointed Schallenberg as head of government, said in his speech at the swearing-in ceremony that the coalition government had a heavy responsibility to restore public confidence in politics.

He added that this trust should not be broken, stressing the importance of good governance.

Michael Linhart, a native of Ankara, Turkey, replaced Schallenberg as Austria’s new foreign minister. He has held several positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was Austrian Ambassador to Paris.

The prosecution has opened an investigation against the former Chancellor for “embezzlement, corruption and influence peddling”.

Sebastian Kurz and some members of his party are accused of paying money to a newspaper and think tank, from the budget of the Ministry of Finance, during the period 2016-18.

Allegations that opinion poll results were manipulated in favor of the former Chancellor and his party by the same recipients of these funds are also within the scope of the investigation.

Austrian security forces searched on October 6 the headquarters of the Chancellery, the Ministry of Finance and the headquarters of the Austrian People’s Party led by Kurz, who, in the face of mounting pressure, decided on October 9 to present his resignation.

* Translated from English by Mourad Belhaj

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