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31 Years Old Sebastian Kruz Poised To Become Austria’s Next Chancellor

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| October 16 , 2017 , 16:53 IST

Austrian politics has taken a sharp right turn with Sebastian Kurz’s OVP (Austrian People’s Party) leading the polls.
Kruz declared the victory for his party and called it a historic moment. Addressing his supporters Kurz said “Today is not the day of triumph over others, but today is our chance for real change in this country”
Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said the People's Party received 31.4 percent of the vote, a gain of more than 7 percentage points from the 2013 election. Kurz described that as the biggest jump in support in the party's history.

 

 

 

While no party has got the required majority, Kurz is most likely to be sworn in as Austria’s next Chancellor and Europe’s youngest leader after negotiations are over and a coalition is formed. FPO (Freedom Party of Austria) a far-right outfit that rails against foreigners and Muslims could be the most likely coalition partner.

Born in Vienna on Aug. 27, 1986, Sebastian Kurz studied law at the University of Vienna. He has also completed Austria’s compulsory military service. Kurz is not married but is in a long term relationship with girlfriend Susanne Thier, a employee at Austria’s finance ministry.

Kruz was elected as the chairman of Austrian People’s Party’s youth wing in 2009. He served on the Vienna city council during 2010-11. In 2011, Kurz was made the State Secretary for Integration. This is when Kurz left his studies for a full time political career and emerged as the star performer in the 2013 general election becoming Austria’s foreign minister. He was sworn in as the youngest minister in the history of Austrian republic and the youngest foreign minister in Europe.

The election campaign was dominated by the issue of immigration and radical Islam. Kurz moved his party to the right, pledging to shut down migration routes to Europe, bar recent immigrants from receiving benefits, and cap payments to refugees.

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When a new wave of migrants and refugees seeking to relocate to Europe became a continent-wide concern in 2015, Mr. Kurz recognised Austrian voters’ anxiety over unchecked immigration involving large numbers of Muslim newcomers.

Noting that his party had triumphed over the rival Social Democrats only twice since the end of World War II, Mr. Kurz called Sunday’s election a “historic victory.”