Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz resigns amid corruption probe (Lead 1)

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has announced his resignation following pressure from a corruption scandal and has proposed Foreign Minister Alexander Schalenberg as his successor.

The BBC reported that Kurz and nine others were placed under investigation after raids at several locations linked to his conservative People’s Party.

In a statement to the media on Saturday evening, Kurz said he wanted to avoid months of chaos and stagnation, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the BBC report, he denied the claim that he had used government funds to ensure positive coverage in a newspaper.

The allegations this week pushed his coalition government to the brink of collapse after its junior partner, the Greens.

The Greens began talks with opposition parties, who were threatening to bring a no-confidence motion against the chancellor next week.

Greens leader and chancellor Werner Kogler welcomed Kurz’s resignation and indicated he would be willing to work with Schellenberg. He says that they had a very constructive relationship.

Announcing his resignation, Kurz said, what is needed now is stability. To resolve the impasse I want to step aside to stop the chaos.

He said he would continue to be the leader of his party and would continue to sit in Parliament.

He said, “First and foremost, although I will certainly use the opportunity to dismiss the charges against me.”

With regard to the appointment of Schalenberg as his successor, Kurz said the foreign minister had the necessary diplomatic skills to rebuild trust between the parties.

Kurz is facing growing calls to step down, including from his own government aides, as the 35-year-old chancellor and nine others are under investigation for claims that the government was involved in a corrupt deal to ensure positive media coverage. money was used.

The opposition has called on Kurz to step down and plans to move a no-confidence motion against him in parliament on Tuesday.

Kurz is the youngest head of government in the world, and, at the age of 31, was first elected to the position, the youngest chancellor in Austrian history.

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