- Title: Austria's Kurz waiting for presidential go-ahead to form government
- Date: 2nd October 2019
- Summary: VIENNA, AUSTRIA (OCTOBER 2, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF AUSTRIAN CONSERVATIVE PEOPLE'S PARTY (OVP) LEADER, SEBASTIAN KURZ, COMING TO ADDRESS MEDIA AFTER MEETING WITH AUSTRIAN PRESIDENT, ALEXANDER VAN DER BELLEN MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (German) AUSTRIAN CONSERVATIVE PEOPLE'S PARTY LEADER, SEBASTIAN KURZ, SAYING: "I just had good talks with the president. As you can imagine, we talked about the election results on Sunday and analysed them. But mainly we talked about the coming years, in particular the coming months." AUSTRIAN FLAG KURZ TALKING (SOUNDBITE) (German) AUSTRIAN CONSERVATIVE PEOPLE'S PARTY LEADER, SEBASTIAN KURZ, SAYING: "At the moment I am in the process of getting in touch with the leaders of the other parties that are represented in parliament, even though here and there the situation is a bit chaotic at the moment. Of course, the goal is that as soon as I have received the task of forming a government we will enter into exploratory talks with all parties. This election gave a clear remit to People's Party to continue with our work and the direction we were taking and that will be our goal as soon as the president hands me the task of forming a government where we will then into formal exploratory talks with the other party leaders." KURZ TALKING (SOUNDBITE) (German) AUSTRIAN CONSERVATIVE PEOPLE'S PARTY LEADER, SEBASTIAN KURZ, SAYING: "I understand totally you probably have a thousand questions for me, but I ask for your patience and will happily answer your questions when I can actually answer them." MEDIA / KURZ LEAVING ROOM
- Embargoed: 16th October 2019 11:02
- Keywords: Austrian elections new government People's Party (OVP). Sebastian Kurz Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen
- Location: VIENNA, AUSTRIA
- City: VIENNA, AUSTRIA
- Country: Austria
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA001AZENGAV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Austria's conservative People's Party leader Sebastian Kurz met with the country's president on Wednesday (October 2) in the hope of receiving his instructions to form a new government.
Kurz triumphed in Sunday's (September 29) election as his People's Party emerged well ahead with 37% of the vote, projections show, but he will need a coalition partner to control parliament.
Kurz, 33, has not ruled out any coalition partners and has said he will speak to all parties in parliament. President Alexander Van der Bellen, a former leader of the Greens who will oversee the process, is likely to formally task Kurz with forming a coalition later this week.
Typically the election winner sounds out all possible coalition partners before holding exclusive talks with one of them, as Kurz and his People's Party (OVP) did in 2017 before allying with the far-right Freedom Party (FPO).
The publication in May of a sting video showing FPO leader and Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache offering to fix state contracts forced him to resign and blew up that coalition.
It is widely assumed that these coalition talks will take a relatively long time and could last until Christmas or later.
Kurz has not given a steer. While some commentators think it would make sense for him to join forces with the Greens and perhaps the liberal Neos, the Greens fear Kurz will use them as a stalking horse to then land up back in bed with the FPO.
There are several options Kurz could look into: OVP-FPO (53% COMBINED) OVP-GREENS (51% COMBINED) OVP-GREENS-NEOS (59%) OVP-SPO (59%).
(Production: Ayhan Uyanik, Christine Soukenka, Tanya Wood)
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