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Austria to hold elections after controversy fractures governing coalition

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Austria to hold elections after controversy fractures governing coalition

On May 18, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called for new elections to be held after announcing the end of a governing coalition with the country's nationalist Freedom Party, Bloomberg reported.

The move follows the release of a video reportedly showing a Freedom Party member offering potential government contracts to a Russian woman in exchange for purchasing an Austrian newspaper that would support the party. The party member, Heinz-Christian Strache, resigned from the Freedom Party in an effort to salvage the coalition, but the move was deemed insufficient by Kurz.

According to the report, Kurz called for new elections with the intention of governing without a coalition, "seeking a mandate to govern alone in snap elections."

"Enough is enough," Kurz said, suggesting that new elections are held as "soon as possible." The earliest elections can be held is August.