Sebastian Kurz has resigned from his post as chairman of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and head of its parliamentary group (ÖVP-Club), Reuters reports.
Having already resigned as Chancellor in October due to being embroiled in a corruption scandal, the move appears to mark Kurz’ official farewell to Austrian politics. With charges of embezzlement, bribery, and corruption, he is currently under investigation by the Public Prosecutor’s Office for Economic Affairs and Corruption. It is claimed that falsified polls from 2017, published in the newspaper Österreich allegedly helped Kurz on his way to the chancellorship. Kurz denies the allegations. Rumors circulate that Interior Minister Karl Nehammer or Europe Minister Karoline Edtstadler may take over his role as leader of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP).
In a press statement Kurz declared, “I am neither a saint nor a criminal.” Giving thanks for his years in politics, he said, “for me, a new chapter in my life is beginning. I’m looking forward to spending time with my child and my family before I devote myself to new professional tasks in the new year.”
Before scandal struck, Kurz was highly esteemed within Austrian conservative politics. At 31, he became the youngest head of government in the world.