Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, left, welcomes Sebastian Kurz, right, head of the Austrian People's Party, OEVP, prior to their talks at the Hofburg palace in Vienna, Austria, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. Kurz will get the order to form a new government after the federal elections. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Austria's Kurz has job of putting together new government

October 07, 2019 - 5:36 am

VIENNA (AP) — Austria's president has given center-right leader Sebastian Kurz the job of forming a new government after his party emerged as the strongest by far from an election a week ago.

The 33-year-old Kurz received the mandate Monday from President Alexander Van der Bellen, kicking off what could be the lengthy process of putting together a new governing coalition.

The non-partisan interim government of Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein, installed after a scandal surrounding the far-right Freedom Party brought down Kurz's previous government in May, will remain in place until a new administration is ready.

Kurz's People's Party can choose between reviving its previous coalition with the Freedom Party. Or it can form a coalition with the center-left Social Democrats, a familiar and unloved combination that has frequently run Austria or it can ally with the resurgent Greens.

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