World Bulletin / News Desk
After getting the green light from Austria's president on Friday, the leader of the victorious conservative party in last Sunday’s Austrian general election is set to hold coalition talks after falling short of an absolute majority in parliament.
According to the official results announced Thursday, the center-right Austrian People's Party (OVP) won the parliamentary election with a clear victory over their rival Social Democrats, capturing 31.6 percent of the vote, up from 24 percent four years ago.
OVP leader Sebastian Kurz said on Sunday night that he was open to talks with all parties in parliament on forming a coalition government.
He did not rule out a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party, or FPO, which used anti-immigrant and especially anti-Muslim rhetoric during the election campaign.
Earlier Friday, Kurz was officially asked by the country's President Alexander van der Bellen to form a new government.
Chancellor-designate Kurz, 31, is expected to meet Saturday with the leaders of FPO and Social Democratic Party (SPO) on possible coalitions.
Kurz and his Austrian People's Party took a harsher tone on issues related to migration and Islam during their campaign, sparking criticisms that the OVP was drifting into right-wing populism in the hope of attracting far-right voters.
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