Mr Kurz’s successor, Alexander Schallenberg, a former diplomat and Foreign Ministry spokesman, was widely seen as a replacement for Mr Kurz. But on Thursday, hours after Mr Kurz announced he was officially leaving politics and in turn party leadership, Mr Schallenberg said he would also step down so that the country could also be ruled by the leader of the party. Austrian People’s Party.
Mr. Schallenberg will be foreign minister in the new government, a post he held in the Kurz administration.
“It has been quite a journey,” said Laurenz Ennser-Jedenastik, assistant professor of political science at the University of Vienna. He said it was still not clear whether the past few months were a “hit on the calendar” or if such instability was the new normal for Austrian politics.
The upheaval, he said, partly reflected the concentration of power in the party leadership, especially Mr Kurz, who first served as chancellor four years ago. Positioning himself as a young media-savvy political star, Mr Kurz’s support for anti-immigrant views has drawn more supporters of the center-right movement in Austria.
But after being accused of using public funds for corruption, the party he helped reinvigorate ultimately decided to stop supporting him. Now the question is whether the party could face a drop in public support in recent months.