Karl Nehammer set to become Austria’s new chancellor

Baku, December 3, AZERTAC

Austria's ruling People's Party (ÖVP) on Friday picked Interior Minister Karl Nehammer to become head of the party and the country's likely next chancellor, according to DW.

The decision was made at a meeting of the center-right party's top brass in Vienna.

It will now be up to Austria's president to accept Nehammer's nomination and swear him in, but this is mostly a formality.

Nehammer's appointment comes after a day after the current party chief Sebastian Kurz, who is implicated in a corruption scandal, said he was stepping down from the role.

Kurz's departure had a domino effect, prompting Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg, who was only appointed to the role in October, to offer to quit so that the post of chancellor and head of the party could be held by one person.

Kurz had been Austrian Chancellor between December 2017 and May 2019 and for a second time from January 2020 to October, before being forced to quit over the graft scandal.

Born in Vienna in 1972, Nehammer worked in the army for several years before becoming a communications advisor.

He was first elected as a representative of the capital Vienna in 2017. He became interior minister last year when Kurz led the ÖVP into a coalition with the Greens. He is considered a strong supporter of Kurz's tough refugee policy.

He has been one of three public crisis managers during the COVID-19 pandemic, with responsibility for the enforcement of lockdowns and restrictions.

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