Austrian chancellor Kurz resigns amid corruption allegations


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Lisi Niesner Reuters

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who is under investigation on suspicion of corruption, leaves after giving a statement at the federal chancellery in Vienna on Oct. 9.

BERLIN — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz resigned Saturday amid a corruption probe that had opposition parties seeking a no-confidence vote.

In a televised address, the 35-year-old conservative leader said he denied the allegations against him but recommended leadership be handed to Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

“My country is more important to me than my person,” he said. “I want to make space, to prevent chaos and ensure stability.”

Opposition parties had been planning a vote of no-confidence against Kurz on Tuesday following an announcement this week that, along with close associates, he was being investigated for embezzlement and bribing media figures. His offices were raided on Wednesday.

Kurz was one of the youngest heads of government in the world when he became chancellor in 2017 at age 31. He was toppled in 2019 when a scandal triggered a breakup with his far-right coalition partner.

Kurz made his political comeback with a new image, seeking to cast off his associations with the far-right and anti-immigration groups and trying to move more toward the political center.

Rick Noack in Prague contributed to this report.

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