Austria’s interior minister Herbert Kickl said the Freedom Party could not take the mistake of Austrian Chancellor and party chairman Heinz Christian Strache, who was exposed to a scandal by leaking a video of him to a Russian businessman who was carrying out suspicious deals.
“Strache has resigned from the party and from all government posts, although the video of a private conversation filmed without his permission is against the law,” Kickl said in a statement on Sunday.
He explained that the People’s Party, a partner in the coalition, rushed to unilaterally dissolve the coalition government and call for early elections in September without consulting with the Freedom Party, the second partner in the coalition.
The Minister of the Interior accused the People’s Party of wanting to destroy the achievements of the Freedom Party in the form of strict and consistent policy on security, asylum and reduction of immigration to Austria.
For his part, Norbert Hoover, the new president of the Freedom Party in Austria, dismissed the dismissal of Interior Minister Herbert Kickl, pointing to the successes in security since taking office.
He pledged to do his best to keep the Freedom Party strong, whether in government or opposition.
Austrian Chancellor of the Party of Freedom (extreme right) Christian Strache has announced his resignation after the disclosure of his attempt to get financial support from Russia in 2017, in the scandal of a prominent leader of the hard right on the continent a week before the European elections.
“I gave the Sebastian Kurz my resignation from my duties as deputy adviser and accepted,” he said at a news conference in Vienna yesterday.
“I have committed a rift and I do not want this to be a pretext to weaken the coalition,” said Strache, who was in government with conservative Chancellor Kurz at the end of 2017.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called for early legislative elections as soon as possible, 24 hours after a corruption scandal hit the ruling coalition’s Freedom Party.
“What our country needs is new elections,” Kurz said in a press statement yesterday. “I wanted to work without isolated cases, scandals or accidents. The Freedom Party can not do that, and the SPD does not want our participation in government.”
According to Austrian law, the Chancellor should propose early elections for the president of the country, who in turn will invite voters.
Indeed, Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen called for new parliamentary elections in early September, stressing that the Austrians should be given the opportunity to start a new era and rebuild confidence in their government.