Index - Abroad - Sebastian Kurz: I'm not a shadow chancellor

Former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who resigned last weekend over corruption allegations, turned to his followers in a Facebook video on Thursday morning.

The People’s Party politician spoke of an emotional roller coaster ride and of seeing the frustration and anger of his supporters.

Honestly, that’s how I felt

Kurz said. He added that as chairman and leader of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), he would do his utmost to support the ÖVP and the coalition government of the Greens. The Chancellor was taken over by former Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

Kurz reiterated that he is not in the background as a “shadow chancellor” against the opposition’s accusations. He stressed the people deserve a stable government.

In listing his achievements, his government highlighted tax reform, the fight against illegal migration and the alleviation of the burden on workers.

Regarding allegations of corruption, he said there are a number of SMS circulating that he did not write. He commented on the messages he actually wrote:

I’m not a robot, but a man with mistakes and emotions, and yes, unfortunately sometimes I put it the way I wouldn’t in public.

On Wednesday, we wrote in the Index that a parliamentary committee of inquiry had agreed to set up a parliamentary inquiry into the corruption investigation into the circles of the Austrian People’s Party, which was leading the governing coalition. The committee hopes the opposition can begin its work next month.

According to a recent poll released on Tuesday, the popularity of the Austrian People’s Party has fallen after Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz resigned just because of a poll scandal.

As we wrote: the Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (WKStA) is investigating on suspicion of bribery or dishonesty. They want to find out whether the ÖVP manipulated the poll data published in the newspaper Österreich in 2016 and whether their publication was covered by public funds. Sabine Beinschab, a pollster and former assistant minister to Sophie Karmasin, has already been detained as a suspect in the case.

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