31-year-old Sebastian Kurz is set to become Austria’s next chancellor, making him the youngest head of state in the EU. While it is still unclear with which political party he plans to establish a coalition, it is estimated that he prefers the far right-wing Freedom Party of Austria over the Social Democratic Party.
Sebastian Kurz Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
With the majority of the votes counted, it was officially determined that Austrian Foreign Minister 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz, the conservative leader of the center-right People’s Party (ÖVP), will be the country’s next chancellor and the youngest EU leader. At the moment, it is still unclear whether he intends to form a coalition with the Social Democratic Party, the outgoing ruling party, or the far right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPOe).
Kurz’s party received about 32 percent of the votes. It is assumed that Kurz will prefer to establish a government with the FPOe. The young Austrian leader, who served as the country’s foreign minister for the past four years, became the leader of his party in May 2017 and immediately took a political rightward turn.
During the campaign, Kurz promised to prevent migrants from entering the country and reduce the benefits and payments migrants in the country receive. Shortly after the preliminary election results were announced, Kurz delivered a speech in Vienna and vowed to implement a new leadership style in Austria.
Aside from Kurz’s impressive achievement in the election, the FPOe, which is strongly opposed to the current policy regarding migrants, also gained many votes at the polls. The party was once headed by Jörg Haider, who was born to Nazi parents and considered an anti-Semite.