Wednesday 18 September 2019

New Austrian chancellor sworn in with interim government

The 69-year-old became Austria’s first female chancellor on Monday at the head of a government of non-partisan experts.

New Austrian Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein (Ronald Zak/AP)
New Austrian Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein (Ronald Zak/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Brigitte Bierlein has been sworn in as Austria’s new chancellor at the head of an interim government that will serve until after an election expected in September.

The 69-year-old became Austria’s first female chancellor on Monday at the head of a government of non-partisan experts.

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Austrian President Alexander Van Der Bellen shakes hands with Chancellor Brigitte Berlin during an inauguration ceremony (Ronald Zak/AP)

Ms Bierlein was named as interim leader after Sebastian Kurz lost a confidence vote a week ago, following the collapse of a governing coalition of his right-wing People’s Party and the far-right Freedom Party.

That followed the publication of a video showing Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache appearing to offer lucrative government contracts to a purported Russian investor.

President Alexander Van der Bellen called on Austrians not to “turn away” from politics.

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