Austria political parties agree to hold snap elections in October

Peace and Freedom

AFP

© Roland Shlanger, APA / AFP | Archival picture shows the federal assembly at the parliament in Vienna in January 2017

Latest update : 2017-05-16

Austria’s snap election will be on October 15, party chiefs agreed on Tuesday after the centrist “grand coalition” collapsed.

The vote could see the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe), whose candidate narrowly failed to be elected president in December, enter government.

The coalition between Chancellor Christian Kern’s Social Democrats (SPOe) and the People’s Party (OeVP) was meant to govern until 2018.

But after months of bickering, the centre-right OeVP on Sunday appointed a new chief, Sebastian Kurz, who called for early elections.

The anti-immigration FPOe, like other populist parties in Europe, has seen its support rise on the back of concerns about immigration, terrorism and falling living standards.

And like elsewhere, Austria’s two main parties, which have governed the EU country since 1945, have seen…

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