Austria: Nehammer – the new Chancellor?

Status: 03.12.2021 8:55 a.m.

After the political earthquake in the Austrian government and people’s party, the ÖVP will discuss in the morning who should take over which post. Above all, a new chancellor is wanted.

By Clemens Verenkotte, ARD-Studio Vienna

The resignation of Sebastian Kurz has left considerable gaps in the ÖVP government team. Gaps that the party executive of the Conservative People’s Party wants to close as quickly as possible at its meeting that morning in Vienna. According to Austrian media reports, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer is the favorite to succeed Sebastian Kurz as ÖVP boss and chancellor.

Clemens Verenkotte
ARD studio Vienna

The head of the state government of Lower Austria, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, who heads the ÖVP regional association, spoke out clearly in favor of the 49-year-old: “I really appreciate Karl Nehammer, and he would be someone who could ensure stability in the government.”

A clear cut with the Kurz era

Before taking office as Minister of the Interior, Nehammer was ÖVP General Secretary, belongs to the influential Lower Austrian regional association and was not one of the closest circle of ex-Chancellor Kurz. An advantage for him, because the ÖVP state party leaders are clearly trying to make a clear cut with the Kurz era.

Yesterday you issued the slogan that the party chairmanship and the Chancellery should be in one hand, indirectly calling on Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg to resign. A few hours later, Schallenberg met this requirement.

One resignation – and one more

It was never his goal to become head of the ÖVP, wrote Schallenberg, who had changed from the Foreign Ministry to the head of government just two months ago after Kurz resigned as Chancellor. Both offices should be brought together again as soon as possible. Therefore he, Schallenberg, resign.

Shortly thereafter, Finance Minister Gernot Blümel, who is considered one of Sebastian Kurz’s closest confidants and who is being investigated by the corruption prosecutor, published a video on the Internet: He, too, is resigning out of consideration for his family: “I have decided to go into politics leave, especially for my family. ”

Back chairs in the ÖVP

It is uncertain how the ÖVP ministerial posts will be filled. The chairmen of the ÖVP regional associations discussed the upcoming personnel raids until late at night. Should Interior Minister Nehammer become the new ÖVP boss and future Chancellor, Constitutional Minister Karoline Edtstadler could take over the interior department, as the Austrian media want to know.

Alexander Schallenberg, who was a diplomat and not a party politician during his professional life, could either go back to the Foreign Ministry or become constitution minister.

With the Greens everything is the same

The coalition partner, the Greens, is unimpressed by the serious personnel changes in the ÖVP government team. With the Greens everything will stay as it is, said party leader and Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler: “The Green government team will definitely stay the same. It is an excellent team and would like to express that we will see again that the Greens ensure stability here together with others in the country. ”

Austria is facing a major government reshuffle on the part of the ÖVP – triggered by the departure of the ex-Chancellor from the political stage. A decision that – so say the Greens – they only found out from the media.

Chairs are moving in the ÖVP – Karl Nehammer favorite for the Chancellor successor

Clemens Verenkotte, ARD Wien, 3.12.2021 · 08:23

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