Austrian interior minister set to take over as chancellor

Ruling People's Party chooses Nehammer to succeed former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz as party head.

Austrian interior minister set to take over as chancellor

Austria's Interior Minister Karl Nehammer was tapped on Friday to become the country's next chancellor after former government head Sebastian Kurz's departure from the political stage.

At a press conference, Nehammer announced that the ruling conservative People's Party (OVP) had chosen him as party leader to replace Kurz, who stepped down as chancellor in October.

Nehammer added that he was also a nominated to succeed Alexander Schallenberg as chancellor in a unanimous decision of the party.

Cabinet reshuffle

Nehammer said he would take over as chancellor after meeting with President Alexander Van der Bellen, adding that there would also be a cabinet reshuffle.

He noted that in the new cabinet, the ministers of finance, education, and interior would change, with current Schallenberg returning to his prior post of foreign minister.

The current interior minister noted that he had also met and reached an agreement with Werner Kogler, the leader of the OVP's coalition partner Green Party and deputy prime minister, on the cabinet changes.

Kurz steps down from politics

Former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who doubled as leader of the OVP, said on Thursday that he was leaving politics.

After Kurz, then-Finance Minister Gernot Blumel and Education Minister Heinz Fassmann, who were prosecuted for corruption, also announced their resignation. Prime Minister Schallenberg also said that he would leave the prime minister's seat to the new leader of the OVP.

Kurz had to resign as chancellor on Oct. 9, following his involvement in a public investigation on graft, bribery, and breach of trust.

Schallenberg, then foreign minister, took over as chancellor after Kurz.

Hüseyin Demir