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Austrian President Officially Dissolves Gov't After Vote of No-Confidence

© REUTERS / Lisi NiesnerAustrian President Alexander Van der Bellen delivers a statement after a no-confidence vote against the government in Vienna, Austria May 27, 2019
Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen delivers a statement after a no-confidence vote against the government in Vienna, Austria May 27, 2019 - Sputnik International
On Monday, the Austrian parliament passed a motion of no confidence against Chancellor Kurz and his government amid the scandal involving the ruling party's coalition partner, the FPO, whose former leader Heinz-Christian Strache was taped seemingly conspiring to exchange government contracts for help in the election.

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen has officially dissolved the government under Chancellor Sebastian Kurz a day after the latter lost a no-confidence vote.

The president has tasked Vice Chancellor Hartwig Loger, who became interim vice chancellor a week ago, with serving as Austria's chancellor until the appointment of an interim head of government, who will remain at the helm until early parliamentary elections in September.

READ MORE: From ‘Basti Fantasti’ to No-Confidence Vote: Sebastian Kurz's Political Career

This comes after Austrian lawmakers from the Social Democrats and the right-wing Freedom Party passed a motion of no confidence in the government, while Kurz's Austrian People's Party (OVP) and liberal NEOS party voted against the motion.

Kurz, for his part, assured the president that his party is “ready for an orderly transfer of power and the transitional government” and that it “will support the interim government unconditionally, regardless of who he [the president] finds”.

Earlier, then-Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache and all ministers from Kurz’s minor coalition partner, the Freedom Party (FPO), except for Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, resigned on 20 May.

READ MORE: Video Scandal in Austria Caused Great Damage to Political Culture — German FM

This was preceded by the publication of a video that showed Strache discussing a deal that reportedly could have helped the FPO in the 2017 parliamentary elections with a Latvian woman posing as a Russian oligarch’s niece.

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Earlier this month, German media outlets reported that Strache discussed with the woman an agreement that would involve her acquiring the Kronen Zeitung newspaper and gaining access to several government projects in exchange for favourable media coverage Strache in the run-up to the 2017 general election.

While media claimed that the woman was Russian, the official, who has described the video as an attempted "political assassination", said that she is from Latvia.

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