Kurz ousted in Austria despite strong European election showing
Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of Austria was ousted in a no-confidence vote brought on by the shenanigans of the far-right political party, the Freedom Party (FPO). This happened because the FPO – that is still smarting by Kurz taking action against this political party – teaming up with the Social Democrats. Hence, the irony is that the party responsible for the ensuing crisis was equally responsible for ousting Kurz.
Yet, for Kurz, and the political party he belongs to, the future of the Austrian People’s Party (OVP), could still blossom. After all, the OVP increased its share of the vote in the recent European elections despite Kurz facing the no-confidence vote that ousted him from power.
The people of Austria, if you look at the European election result, showed a thumbs-up to Kurz and the OVP. This is based on topping the European election with 34.5 percent. Hence, the political party that Kurz represents increased its share of the vote by 7.5 percent.
Despite the strong showing, it wasn’t enough to protect Kurz from the no-confidence vote that he was destined to lose, based on the small-minded approach of the far-right FPO. At the same time, the opportunist SPO understood that the writing was on the wall because the FPO – the same party responsible for the crisis – would turn against Kurz for lambasting the shallowness of the FPO.
The BBC reports, “Austria’s parliament has voted to remove Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his government from office in a special parliamentary session.”
Sadly, Kurz will go down in history with positively being the youngest Chancellor who took political office; but negatively with being the shortest-serving leader who was forced from political office. However, if the European election shows one thing, it is that Kurz is still widely popular in Austria and the same applies to the political party he belongs to.
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