Austria’s President Alexander calls for September poll in wake of scandal

Vastavam web: Austria’s President Alexander Van der Bellen on Sunday called for fresh elections in September after a corruption scandal embroiling the far-right brought down the coalition government in spectacular fashion.

Just days before key EU elections, Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache was forced to resign in disgrace Saturday following explosive revelations from a hidden camera sting.

Conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz — whose 18-month coalition with the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) had been held up as a European model — reacted by pulling the plug on their union. “My preference is for early elections in September, if possible the beginning of September,” Van der Bellen told journalists on Sunday after holding talks with Kurz.

The president will hold further talks with other party leaders over the coming weeks in order to fix a date.