Austria's Chancellor Schallenberg to Resign as well

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: December 2, 2021; 18:37 ♦ (Vindobona)

Alexander Schallenberg "makes his office as Chancellor available".

Austrian chancellor Alexander Schallenberg resigns after Sebastian Kurz withdraws from politics. / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Dragan Tatic

A spokesman for the Chancellor announced this evening, according to ORF, that Austria's Chancellor Schallenberg, who has only been in office for 2 months, is making his position as Chancellor available.

"It is not my intention and was never my goal to take over the function of the federal party leader of the New Austrian People's Party (Neue ÖVP). I am of the firm opinion that both offices - head of government and federal party chairman of the party with the largest number of votes in Austria - should quickly be reunited in one hand," Schallenberg said in a written statement to the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF).

It further said that he had "declared himself ready to take over the office of chancellor in a very challenging phase for the federal government and the Austrian People's Party."

After Sebastian Kurz's withdrawal from all political posts this morning, the question of what would happen next in the Austrian government had already arisen.

At tomorrow's Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) board meeting, the further personnel changes will probably be decided.

Relatively fixed seems to be still that the activity as ÖVP Klubobmann in the parliament again August Wöginger will take over.

Chancellor Schallenberg was said not to really desire the office of chancellor, but to see himself much more suited as foreign minister, which he was before. And what he will probably become again.

After this statement by Chancellor Schallenberg, it is to be expected that the post of Chancellor and Federal Party Chairman will again be united in one person.

The most promising candidate for the post of Federal Chancellor and Federal Party Chairman is Karl Nehammer, the Interior Minister, who is also well connected within the party and is striving for power.

As reported, however, also still Europe and Constitution Minister Karoline Edtstadler is to have chances.

So if Schallenberg returns as foreign minister, the question will be what role Michael Linhart, the current foreign minister and former secretary general at the Foreign Ministry and Austrian ambassador in Paris, will be given.