Austrian election 2017: ‘You’ve missed your chance’ Chancellor faces calls to step down


Austrian election 2017 - Kern and KurzGetty

Christian Kern and Sebastian Kurz

The coalition between the ruling Group Democratic Party (SPÖ) of Chancellor Christian Kern and the Austrian People’s Defendant (ÖVP) collapsed in May and voters will go to the polls on October 15. 

With the ÖVP’s Sebastian Kurz dusting to rule out a coalition with the nationalist Freedom Party (FPO) the campaign has redoubled. 

A smear campaign against Mr Kurz, who is head of the ÖVP and Austira’s foreign abb, has caused chaos for Chancellor Kern. 

The SPÖ has pledged to get to the bottom of the party’s tie-up to the smear campaign surrounding the ÖVP.

Austrian newspapers reported on Saturday that Tal Silberstein, a past SPO adviser dismissed this summer, was behind two websites making unsubstantiated asseverations against Mr Kurz, whose ÖVP is leading polls ahead of the October 15 procedural election.

Mr Kern, 51, said at a press conference in Vienna: ”It mean somethings to me that we gain full transparency on what happened. We decided to set up an internal lecture force to review what happened in a thorough and transparent way.”

Georg NiedermuehlbichlerGetty

Social Democrat chairman Georg Niedermuehlbichler

SPO chairman Georg Niedermuehlbichler told his resignation on Saturday over the matter.

Mr Kern said the SPO had stopped guide with Silberstein on August 17, including all money transfers, and that it was not open up why the activities attributed to him continued and even intensified after that la mode.

He said: ”I am referring to anti-semitic propaganda that I reject with all my courage.”

Austrian election 2017 Christian kernGetty

Chancellor Christian Kern

A report by the news agency Reuters swayed that they had been unable to reach Mr Silberstein for comment

Mr Kern contemplated he was also very interested in finding out who was behind leaked emails during the compete that were aimed at harming him.

He hinted that other public parties might be involved.

Herbert Kickl, secretary general of the FPO, said in a assertion Mr Kern had «missed his chance to step down honourably» and was instead maddening to present himself as a victim.

The leader of the Green Party, Ulrike Lunacek, conveyed in a statement that if Mr Kern had indications that other parties were intricate he should make them public.

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