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Sebastian Kurz quits as Austrian chancellor amid corruption inquiry

Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has decided to resign, bowing down to pressure triggered by a corruption scandal.

Mr Kurz and nine other members of his conservative ÖVP People’s Party are under investigation after raids at a number of locations linked to his party.

He has so far denied claims that he used government money for a positive coverage in a tabloid newspaper.

Mr Kurz’s decision to step down is part of the efforts to defuse a government crisis triggered by the corruption investigation.

“What’s required now is stability. To resolve the impasse I want to step aside to prevent chaos,” Mr Kurz said while announcing his resignation.

Mr. Sebastian Kurz has proposed Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg as his replacement.

Kurz, 35, plans to become the head of his Austrian People’s party’s parliamentary group, BBC reported.

His party had closed ranks behind him after the prosecutors’ announcement on Wednesday.

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Following the prosecutors’ announcement on Wednesday, the government’s junior coalition partner, the Greens said he could not continue holding the position of chancellor. The Greens in fact demanded the conservative ÖVP People’s Party nominate an “irreproachable person” to replace Mr Sebastian Kurz.

Welcoming Mr Kurz’s resignation, the Greens’ leader, vice-chancellor Werner Kogler, termed it “a right and important step,” The Guardian reported.

“This means that we can continue our work in government,” he said.

“What we need now are stable conditions,” Kurz told reporters in Vienna. “So, in order to resolve the stalemate, I want to make way to prevent chaos and ensure stability.”