Austrian parliament backs no-confidence vote against Chancellor Sebastian Kurz

Austrian lawmakers voted for a no-confidence motion against Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s government, marking the end of its hold on power. 

Kurz had earlier defended his government’s track record,and explained his decision to end a coalition partnership with the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ). The FPÖ was embroiled in a scandal earlier this month when its leader Heinz-Christian Strache appeared in a video footage appearing to offer favors to a purported Russian investor.

“It was clear for me that it meant the end of the coalition,” Kurz told lawmakers.

Opposition parties accused Kurz of being partly to blame for the crisis because of his choice of the FPÖ as coalition partner in the first place. They also said he failed to seek a viable cross-party solution to the situation.

Austria’s president will now be expected to appoint a chancellor to form a government capable of garnering parliament’s support until the next national election, slated for September.