Sebastian Kurz was confirmed by his Austrian People’s Party with a strong 99.4 percent. He presents himself as the advocate of a difficult integration journey.
St. Pölten (dpa) – Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has been re-elected as head of the conservative ÖVP party with an overwhelming majority. At a federal party conference in St. Pölten, 99.4 percent of the delegates gave him their vote.
This was even more than the 98.7% with which Kurz first became chairman of the People’s Party in 2017. In his speech to the party congress, the 35-year-old presented himself as a target of the opposition and as a defender of a difficult integration path.
Kurz referred to the ongoing investigation against him due to possible false testimony he allegedly gave before the parliamentary commission of inquiry into corruption. The announcement is the result of an increasingly aggressive opposition policy. There were days when he “questioned everything”. But he will continue: “The experience has actually made me even more resistant. It made me stronger and it made me even more determined. “
Short for restrictive migration policy
The Austrian People’s Party briefly swore by a restrictive migration policy. “For a democracy, it is extremely important to know who lives here and what people believe in,” he said. Out of responsibility for the country, we must not accept more people than is possible to integrate, he said, also with regard to the situation in Afghanistan. More recently, he spoke out against granting protection to the country’s refugees.
In addition to immigration, Kurz named four other key topics for the coming months: tax breaks for middle incomes, work, digitization and greening. Tensions with the Greens have increased recently within the government over migration and transport policy issues.
Since Kurz led the Tories, the party has won two parliamentary elections. According to a poll in early August, the ÖVP is currently 35% ahead of the opposition Social Democrats and the right-wing FPÖ, who each have around 20% each. The Greens in power with the ÖVP stagnate at 12%.