Status: 03.12.2021 12:14 p.m.
Austria’s previous Minister of the Interior, Nehammer, is to become the new Federal Chancellor. The ÖVP politician takes over the post from Alexander Schallenberg. This resigned yesterday.
Karl Nehammer is to become the new head of the conservative ÖVP and the new chancellor of Austria. According to Nehammer, the executive committee of the ÖVP decided unanimously. “It is a privilege for me to be able to lead this new people’s party,” said Nehammer.
The previous Minister of the Interior succeeds Alexander Schallenberg, who resigned his post after only two months in office. The trigger for the personnel rogue was the withdrawal of ex-Chancellor Sebastian Kurz from all party offices and politics in general.
Tough stance against illegal migration
Nehammer is a former professional soldier with the rank of lieutenant and has been a party official for many years. Among other things, he stands for a tough stance against illegal migration and radical Islamist currents. One of his main projects as Interior Minister was the restructuring of the constitution protection, which had come under fire several times in the past years and also revealed deficiencies in the run-up to the terrorist attack of November 2, 2020.
Responsibility, solidarity and freedom were among the core values of his policy, said Nehammer in an initial statement. “To be there for one another, to stand up for one another, to take care of one another”, that applies especially in the corona pandemic.
Intact contacts with social democrats
According to experts, the 49-year-old was part of the extended, but not the closest, circle of friends of Kurz. “In contrast to Kurz, he also has intact connections to the Social Democrats,” said political scientist Thomas Hofer. The relationship with the green coalition partner is also sustainable, despite some friction.
Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen still has to formally swear in Nehammer as Chancellor. His role as party leader has yet to be confirmed by a party congress. Kurz’s withdrawal had triggered a personal domino effect. Finance Minister Gernot Blümel, a close confidante for a short time, announced his retirement from politics. In view of the development, calls for new elections to take place soon have been loud in parts of the opposition. The alliance of ÖVP and Greens, which has been overshadowed by conflicts over and over again, has been in power since the beginning of 2020.