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Austrian chancellor resigns amid corruption inquiry

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz resigned on Saturday, after pressure triggered by a corruption scandal, according to multiple reports.

The Washington Post reported that Kurz, who has held the position since 2017, said in a televised address that he wants to “make space to prevent chaos and ensure stability.” 

“My country is more important to me than my person,” Kurz added, according to the newspaper.

Mr Kurz and nine others were placed under investigation after raids at a number of locations linked to his conservative ÖVP People’s Party.

Prosecutors said Wednesday that the individuals were being investigated for charges related to breach of trust, corruption and bribery, the outlet reported. Authorities conducted several raids earlier that day, including the offices of Kurz’s senior aides.

“What’s required now is stability. To resolve the impasse I want to step aside to prevent chaos,” Mr Kurz said as he announced his resignation.

He said he would remain leader of his party, and continue to sit in parliament.

“First and foremost, however, I will of course use the opportunity to disprove the allegations against me,” he added.

Mr Kurz, has been one of the world’s youngest ever democratically-elected heads of government. he became leader of the ÖVP in May 2017 at the age of 31.

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