Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Saturday he is stepping down after being placed under investigation on suspicion of corruption offences, but he plans to stay on as the leader of his party and its top lawmaker in parliament, Trend reports citing Reuters.
Kurz denies wrongdoing and had said he was willing to keep governing with his coalition partner, the Greens. But the left-wing party has said the investigation makes Kurz unfit to serve chancellor and called on his party to name a successor who was "beyond reproach".
"I would therefore like to make way in order to end the stalemate, to prevent chaos and to ensure stability," Kurz said in a statement to the media.
He added that he planned to stay on as party leader and to take over as the leader of its lawmakers in parliament. As party leader, he was proposing Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg to succeed him as chancellor, he said.