15:59 GMT24 September 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen will give Sebastian Kurz, the leader of the People's Party (OVP), a mandate to form a new government on 7 October, the president's office announced on Friday.

    "Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen will receive Chairman of the Austrian People's Party Sebastian Kurz on Monday, 7 October 2019, at 10:00 [08:00 GMT]. Following a conversation the president will present Sebastian Kurz with a mandate to form a government", the office said in a statement.

    Kurz's party achieved a landslide victory in the nation's recent snap parliamentary elections, which were organised in the wake of a scandal involving the leadership of OVP's coalition partner, the Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), which led to the resignation of Kurz's previous government.

    On 17 May, a seven-minute video filmed in 2017 was released showing Heinz-Christian Strache, who at the time was vice-chancellor and leader of the FPO, allegedly discussing exchanging government contracts for help in elections with an alleged niece of a Russian oligarch. The woman was later revealed to be a Bosnian student who was paid for the setup. This led to the parliament introducing a motion of no confidence in the government, which eventually resigned, and Kurz organizing snap elections.

    Despite the scandal, the People’s Party (OVP) won 37.5 percent of the vote. The party's main rivals, the Social Democratic Party of Austria and the FPO, won 21.2 percent and 16.2 percent of the vote, respectively.

    government, mandate, Sebastian Kurz, Alexander Van der Bellen, Austria
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