Austrian president eyes September as best time for new vote

  • Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen addresses the media during a press conference at the Hofburg palace in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, May 18, 2019. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has called for an early election after the resignation of his vice chancellor spelled an end to his governing coalition.

    Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen addresses the media during a press conference at the Hofburg palace in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, May 18, 2019. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has called for an early election after the resignation of his vice chancellor spelled an end to his governing coalition. Associated Press

  • Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (Austrian People's Party) addresses the media during a press conference at the Federal Chancellors Office in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, May 18, 2019. Kurz has called for an early election after the resignation of his vice chancellor spelled an end to his governing coalition.

    Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (Austrian People's Party) addresses the media during a press conference at the Federal Chancellors Office in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, May 18, 2019. Kurz has called for an early election after the resignation of his vice chancellor spelled an end to his governing coalition. Associated Press

  • Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache (Austrian Freedom Party) addresses the media during press conference at the sport ministry in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, May 18, 2019. Strache says he is resigning after two German newspapers published footage of him apparently offering lucrative government contracts to a potential Russian benefactor.

    Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache (Austrian Freedom Party) addresses the media during press conference at the sport ministry in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, May 18, 2019. Strache says he is resigning after two German newspapers published footage of him apparently offering lucrative government contracts to a potential Russian benefactor. Associated Press

  • Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (Austrian People's Party) leaves after a press conference at the Federal Chancellors Office in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, May 18, 2019. Kurz has called for an early election after the resignation of his vice chancellor spelled an end to his governing coalition.

    Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (Austrian People's Party) leaves after a press conference at the Federal Chancellors Office in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, May 18, 2019. Kurz has called for an early election after the resignation of his vice chancellor spelled an end to his governing coalition. Associated Press

  • Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (Austrian People's Party) addresses the media during a press conference at the Federal Chancellors Office in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, May 18, 2019. Kurz has called for an early election after the resignation of his vice chancellor spelled an end to his governing coalition.

    Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (Austrian People's Party) addresses the media during a press conference at the Federal Chancellors Office in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, May 18, 2019. Kurz has called for an early election after the resignation of his vice chancellor spelled an end to his governing coalition. Associated Press

 
 
Posted5/19/2019 7:00 AM

FRANKFURT, Germany -- Austria's president says the first few days of September would be the best time to hold an early election after a covert video scandal shook up the country's politics.

President Alexander Van der Bellen spoke Sunday after meeting with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Kurz called for a new election after the resignation Saturday of his vice chancellor, Heinz-Christian Strache, who apologized for his actions in a video where he was apparently offering government contracts to a purported Russian investor at a boozy gathering in Ibiza.

Kurz decided not to continue the governing coalition between his center-right People's Party and Strache's anti-migrant Freedom Party. The video was published by two German media outlets.

Van der Bellen said "everything must be done to restore trust in officeholders, in the representatives of the people."

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