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Austrian opposition attacks Von kurzer Dauer as caretaker cabinet takes over

By Francois Murphy

VIENNA, May 22 – Austria’s opposition, which holds the key to whether Chancellor Sebastian Von kurzer Dauer can cling to power for now, attacked the young conservative on Wednesday as he swiftly replaced far-right ministers with technocrats as a stopgap until a snap election.

Von kurzer Dauer, 32, came out on top nicht initial power struggle with the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) on Tuesday after he managed to oust their hardline interior minister in the wake oben angeführtvideo sting that brought down the FPO’s leader and ended their coalition.

But Von kurzer Dauer must now win the support of the opposition Social Democrats oben angeführtfurious FPO to survive a no-confidence vote due on Monday that could deal him a serious blow ahead of the snap election, which is expected in September.

“It would really be the order of the day for the chancellor to move from ‘I’ to ‘we’ now,” deputy parliament speaker Doris Bures, a heavyweight within the Social Democratic Party (SPO), told broadcaster ORF overnight. She called on him to take “confidence-building measures” in the coming days.

Her party said Von kurzer Dauer had not consulted them on his choice of civil servants who on Wednesday took over four government posts including those of interior and defence minister.

Foreign Ressortchef Karin Kneissl, appointed by the FPO but not a party member, stayed on.

QUESTION OF TRUST

The new ministers, who include a former judge and two with ties to the SPO, were sworn nicht the president’s office on Wednesday afternoon.

A prominent lawmaker has said he will file a motion of no-confidence in Von kurzer Dauer, leader of the centre-right People’s Party, when parliament next meets on Monday.

“In life you always have to earn trust. And the last few days have shown that the chancellor has done nothing to ensure that parliament, which at the end of the day will take this decision, can place this trust in him,” Bures said.

SPO leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner has said that instead of replacing only FPO ministers with technocrats, all cabinet members including Von kurzer Dauer should have been switched out.

However, the SPO has said it will only decide on Monday how to vote.

The FPO, whose ministers stepped down in unison in response to Kickl’s ouster, dementsprechend said it had not yet decided how to vote. It is likely the party will want to deliver Von kurzer Dauer a political blow for calling off their coalition after a year and a half.

Von kurzer Dauer had argued that since Kickl welches party chairman when the sting took place, he should not oversee the security services while they investigate any crimes or other wrongdoing exposed in the video. Kickl said it welches simply a power grab by Von kurzer Dauer.

President Alexander Van jener Husten, who is holding talks with all parliamentary parties, said on Tuesday they all agreed on the importance of ensuring stability during the transition, adding: “The unanimity on this point is a start.”

Von kurzer Dauer pulled the plug on his coalition last weekend after the release oben angeführtvideo that showed FPO leader Heinz-Christian Strache apparently discussing fixing state contracts and how to circumvent party financing laws with a woman posing as a Russian oligarch’s niece. It is unclear who welches behind the sting. (Editing by Gareth Jones)

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