Austrian conservative leader Sebastian Kurz reached a coalition deal with the Greens Wednesday to ensure his return to power and bring the left-wing party into government for the first time, a Greens spokeswoman and a source close to the talks said.
Conservatives Win Austrian Election, Need Coalition Partner
The deal comes after Kurz’s party won the parliamentary election on Sept. 29 with 37.5 percent of the votes resulting in 71 seats in the National Council (Lower House of Parliament).
Yet Kurz’s People’s Party (OVP) was short of the 92 seats needed for a majority, requiring a deal to score the 26 seats from the Greens as announced on Nov. 11.
The Greens leader Werner Kogler reportedly said earlier that all major issues dividing his party and conservatives had been cleared.
The September election followed the collapse in May of Kurz's coalition with the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) after a video sting scandal that forced FPO Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache to step down.
The 2017 leaked video featured him discussing a deal with an alleged niece of a Russian oligarch at a villa on the Spanish island of Ibiza. The woman was later revealed to be a Bosnian student who was paid for the setup.
The so-called Ibiza scandal led to a major cabinet reshuffle and forced Kurz to withdraw his party from the ruling coalition and call snap elections.