Austrian President swears in Karl Nehammer as new Chancellor
President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen swore in the new Chancellor of the republic Karl Nehammer in the Hofburg residence Monday. Nehammer succeeded Alexander Schallenberg, who will now once again lead to Foreign Ministry of Austria, Trend reports with reference to TASS.
Following Sebastian Kurz's resignation of as the leader of the People’s Party of Austria on December 3, Nehammer was appointed as his successor, which, considering the People’s Party government coalition with The Greens, made him the head of the government.
Nehammer became the sixth Chancellor during Van der Bellen’s tenure as the president since 2017. Between 2017 and 2019, the Austrian government was led by Sebastian Kurz, followed by a period of political instability: Hartwig Loeger led the government for several days in 2019, followed by Brigitte Bierlein, who became the first female Chancellor and served until January 2020. Then, Kurz returned following the snap parliamentary elections and served until October 2021. On October 11, he was succeeded by Schallenberg, who remained in office for almost two months.
Three new ministers and one state secretary were sworn in together with Nehammer at his suggestion. The Foreign Minister will now once again be led by Schallenberg; former state secretary of the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology Magnus Brunner will replace as the Minister of Finance; former Second President of the State Parliament of Lower Austria Gerhand Karner will now lead the Ministry of the Interior; Rector of the University of Graz Martin Polaschek will replace Heinz Fassman as the Minister of Education, Science and Research. Claudia Plakolm, 26, became the state secretary for youth in the Federal Chancellery.
Prior to his appointment as the Chancellor, Nehammer led the Ministry of the Interior in the government of Sebastian Kurz. Between 2017 and 2020, he served as a member of the National Council (the lower house of the Austrian Parliament). Between 2018 and 2020, he serves as the Secretary General of the People’s Party of Austria.
The reshuffle of the Austrian government was caused by Kurz’s resignation as the party’s leader and a politician in general, announced on December 2. Earlier in October, Kurz had to resign as the Chancellor of Austria over a probe, initiated over suspicion of breach of trust and corruption.