Austrian Parliament Strips Ex-Chancellor Kurz of Parliamentary Immunity

© REUTERS / LEONHARD FOEGERAustria's former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz attends a session of the parliament in Vienna, Austria
Austria's former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz attends a session of the parliament in Vienna, Austria  - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.11.2021
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VIENNA (Sputnik) - The Austrian National Council, the parliament's lower house, stripped former chancellor and leader of the Austrian People's Party Sebastian Kurz of parliamentary immunity.
The responsible parliamentary committee on Tuesday gave the green light to the removal of Kurz's immunity; on Thursday, the lawmakers approved this decision.
Kurz himself previously welcomed the parliament's intention to remove parliamentary immunity from him in order to complete an investigation by the anti-corruption prosecutor's office against him on suspicion of complicity in bribery.
Kurz resigned as Austrian chancellor on October 9 amid an investigation by the anti-corruption prosecutor's office against him, but remained the head of the party and the leader of its parliamentary faction. The anti-corruption prosecutor's office later in October sent a request to the Austrian National Council with the aim of lifting Kurz's parliamentary immunity.
The politician said that he did not consider himself guilty and would prove his innocence, stressing that his innocence had already been confirmed by an independent legal examination.
Meanwhile, a public opinion poll released on 25 October showed that more than 60% of Austrians want former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to retire from politics altogether.
According to the poll results, 65% of respondents were in favor of Kurz resigning as the chairman of the Austrian People's Party (APP), and only 27% believe that he should keep his position. At the same time, current chancellor Alexander Schallenberg is rated as the most suitable politician from the APP to take office.
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