Austria’s ruling party picks Karl Nehammer as country’s next leader

Former soldier has been enforcer of outgoing chancellor’s hard line on immigration

Austria’s interior minister and OeVP General-Secretary Karl Nehammer addresses a press conference to anounce that he has been named as Austria’s new chancellor  in Vienna on Friday. Photograph: AFP via Getty Images

Austria’s interior minister and OeVP General-Secretary Karl Nehammer addresses a press conference to anounce that he has been named as Austria’s new chancellor in Vienna on Friday. Photograph: AFP via Getty Images

 

The leadership of Austria’s ruling conservatives on Friday picked interior minister Karl Nehammer as the party’s next leader and the country’s next chancellor, he said in a statement to the media.

Mr Nehammer, a 49-year-old former soldier, has been the enforcer of outgoing party leader Sebastian Kurz’s hard line on immigration. Mr Kurz said on Thursday he was quitting politics, prompting his ally, chancellor Alexander Schallenberg, to say he too would step down.

Mr Nehammer said on Friday he had chosen party official Magnus Brunner to be the next finance minister.

Mr Brunner, a junior minister in the environment ministry, will succeed Gernot Bluemel, who said on Thursday he would resign after Mr Kurz quit as party leader.

Mr Schallenberg will return to his old job of foreign minister, Nehammer told a news conference. – Reuters