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20.05.2019 Europe

Austrian president calls for September snap elections

By RFI
REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
MAY 20, 2019 EUROPE

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen said on Sunday that he wanted snap elections to take place in September. This after the government collapsed over a corruption scandal.

"My preference is for early elections in September, if possible the beginning of September," Van der Bellen told journalists after holding talks with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

The legal procedures to fix the date will now take place over the coming weeks, with the president set to hold talks with other party leaders.

The announcement came after a dramatic 48 hours in Austrian politics which saw far-right Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache resign in disgrace following explosive revelations in a hidden camera sting.

On Friday, two German newspapers published footage showing Strache openly discussing the possibility of awarding public contracts in return for campaign help for his far-right Freedom Party.

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