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Austrian chancellor steps down amid graft allegations

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz stepped down from his post on Saturday in the wake of corruption allegations.

“My country is more important to me than my person. What is needed now is stable conditions. I want to make room to prevent chaos and ensure stability,” Kurz said in a live TV press statement at the Chancellery in the capital Vienna.

It would be “irresponsible to slide into months of chaos,” said Kurz, whose duties will be taken over by Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

The Austrian public prosecutor’s office is investigating Kurz and close members of his team on suspicions of corruption and breach of trust. The process had sparked a government crisis.

Denying the accusations against him, Kurz vowed to prove them wrong. “These (accusations) are from 2016. They’re wrong. And I’ll clarify that, too,” he said.

The corruption investigations against Kurz and his close circle had triggered a government crisis in the middle of the week. As a coalition partner, the Greens deemed the chancellor unfit for office.

On Tuesday, Kurz will face a motion of no-confidence in a special session of the Austrian parliament and is expected to be voted out of office.

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By Davies

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