Update: Austria’s Kurz wants to fire interior minister
By The Associated Press05/20/19, 16:51
The Latest on the video scandal that’s rocked the Austrian government (all times local):
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz says he wants to fire interior minister over the video scandal that’s rocked the government.
Kurz told reporters in Vienna that removing Herbert Kickl of the far-right Freedom Party from his post was necessary to achieve “total transparency” in the case.
Two of Kickl’s party colleagues were caught on video apparently offering government contracts to a supposed Russian benefactor.
Austria’s leader is apparently preparing to force out the country’s interior minister, a prominent and divisive figure in the far-right Freedom Party, after the country’s vice chancellor resigned in a scandal over a covertly filmed video.
Conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has called for a new national election after Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache quit his post and the leadership of the Freedom Party on Saturday. The election is expected in September, but it remains unclear how the country will be governed until then.
For now, the Freedom Party’s ministers remain in place in Kurz’s ruling coalition.
A minister from Kurz’s party, Gernot Bluemel, told ORF television he expects that Kurz will dismiss Kickl. Bluemel cited a need to end the scandal triggered by a video in which Strache apparently offered government contracts to a Russian investor.