Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has lost a no-confidence motion, forcing his government from office in the wake of the ‘Ibizagate’ Russian influence scandal despite his party’s European election victory.
It came after his former coalition partners in the far-right FPÖ party said they would back a no-confidence motion submitted by the opposition Social Democrats (SPÖ).
SPÖ leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner said it was up to Austrian president Alexander Van der Bellen to invite Parliament to find a solution for a new caretaker cabinet until new elections can be held.
“What must not happen is that another government is sworn in which has no majority in parliament and therefore no stability,” Rendi-Wagner said.
Kurz’s Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) came out on top in the EU elections, winning by roughly 8 points more than in 2014.
But his ÖVP/SPÖ coalition government has been engulfed by chaos since German newspapers released video footage showing FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache offering public contracts to a Russian campaign backer at a meeting in Ibiza.
Strache, who was Kurz’s Vice-Chancellor, resigned after the video footage was released.