Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen has officially dissolved the government under Chancellor Sebastian Kurz a day after the latter lost a no-confidence vote.
The president has tasked Vice Chancellor Hartwig Loger, who became interim vice chancellor a week ago, with serving as Austria's chancellor until the appointment of an interim head of government, who will remain at the helm until early parliamentary elections in September.
This comes after Austrian lawmakers from the Social Democrats and the right-wing Freedom Party passed a motion of no confidence in the government, while Kurz's Austrian People's Party (OVP) and liberal NEOS party voted against the motion.
Kurz, for his part, assured the president that his party is “ready for an orderly transfer of power and the transitional government” and that it “will support the interim government unconditionally, regardless of who he [the president] finds”.
Earlier, then-Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache and all ministers from Kurz’s minor coalition partner, the Freedom Party (FPO), except for Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, resigned on 20 May.
This was preceded by the publication of a video that showed Strache discussing a deal that reportedly could have helped the FPO in the 2017 parliamentary elections with a Latvian woman posing as a Russian oligarch’s niece.
While media claimed that the woman was Russian, the official, who has described the video as an attempted "political assassination", said that she is from Latvia.