rt. On 20 October the head of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), Sebastian Kurz, was given the task of forming a government by Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen as his party topped the polls.
The good election result of the ÖVP (31.5%) and the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ, 26%) in the National Council elections from 14 October has suggested a government coalition of these two parties. A coalition of the ÖVP and the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ, 26.9%) is considered to be unlikely, because both parties had formed the government coalition even before the election.
The coalition talks of the ÖVP and the FPÖ will be pursued with great interest. The FPÖ, under its chairman Heinz-Christian Strache promised that the Austrians should take their fortunes into their own hands in the future. Among other things, the FPÖ demands for an expansion of direct democracy according to the Swiss model. Remembering bitter experiences, they demand binding referenda on successful petitions if Parliament fails to implement them, as has happened in many cases before. In addition, youth should be more involved in direct democratic decisions. Citizens should also have the possibility to stop laws adopted by Parliament with the help of veto referenda.
How will the campaign promises be implemented in the coalition negotiations? •
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