Austria faces a long process to form Government after Kurz's victory

Austria faces a long process to form a new Government after the triumph of the conservative Sebastian Kurz and his Popular Party (ÖVP) - and the debacle of its ultras - in the early legislative sessions on Sunday, which open a wide but complicated range of possibilities.

"It will be a challenge that will take a long time. I am afraid that this time it will be something more difficult," Kurz told the Austrian public radio ORF on Monday after reiterating that he will hold consultations with all parties to try to achieve a "stable" government.

"We need the best possible cooperation" to face the "great challenges" that are expected, especially in the economy, given the symptoms of recession "in Germany, the uncertainty of 'brexit' and the commercial tensions between the United States and China", he added.

In the past, negotiations to form a new government lasted an average of 68 days in Austria, with a maximum of 129 and a minimum of 25. Political analysts do not expect a result before December.

Without an absolute majority, but with an advantage of more than 15 percentage points compared to its main rival (the social democrat SPÖ), the ÖVP has been, mathematically, in the comfortable situation of being able to choose between several alternatives.

Both an alliance with social-democratic opponents, as with the FPÖ utraderechists - their partners in the previous Government - and with Los Verdes, who return with force to the Parliament they had left out in 2017, would get more than half of the 183 seats of the hemicycle.

According to the data published by the Ministry of Interior after counting the votes deposited at the polls, the ÖVP, with 38.4% of the votes, would have 73 deputies, the SPÖ would have 41 (21.5% of the votes ), FPÖ 32 (17.3%); the Greens, 23 (12.4%); and the liberal Neos, 14 (7.4%).

Today the scrutiny of the suffrage by mail has begun, which this time nearly one million of the 6.4 million citizens with the right to vote resorted to, but the country's demonstration institutes foresee that the variations regarding the partial result of the ballots do not They will change the big picture.

The vote by mail will reduce by one or two the number of seats in Kurz's formation and increase that of Los Verdes, they predict.

Be that as it may, the President of the Republic, Alexander van der Bellen, is expected to begin on Wednesday a first round of consultations before entrusting the formation of a new Executive to the leader of the most voted party.

At 33, Kurz has not only consolidated the political leadership with which he already became the youngest head of government in Europe in 2017, but, together with the Los Verdes party, is the great beneficiary of the corruption scandal in the ranks of the FPÖ that caused its fall last May.

In this situation, it has not amazed anyone who interprets their victory, superior to that predicted by the polls, as the desire of the Austrians to continue with their "center-right policy", intolerant towards immigration and tax increases.

In the previous campaign he left no doubt that his favorite partners are the ultras, satisfied, as he declared to be, with the work of the year and a half that were together in power, despite the "incidents" of xenophobic and racist dyes of the FPÖ , and the reluctance of Europe.

But the ultras yesterday received such a blow that now they are inclined to go to the opposition to recover part of the voters who abandoned them to support Kurz.

Voters strongly punished their involvement in the "Ibiza case": a filming with hidden cameras on an Ibizan farm where the then leader of the formation, Heinz-Christian Strache, offered a Russian millionaire (fake) various favors in exchange for funding Illegal to your party.

Despite trying to save his face with the replacement of Strache by Norbert Hofer as head of the FPÖ, this party, founded in the 1950s by former Nazis, backed into the polls at the level it had in 2008, with a drop of almost 10 percentage points, much more than what the surveys had predicted.

Hofer, who in the campaign had advocated reediting the alliance with the popular, last night interpreted the result as "a mandate to reform and relaunch the party from the opposition."

On the other hand, the popular could bet on the Greens as a partner, a combination that already exists at the regional level - in the western states of Tyrol and Salzburg - and many members of the ÖVP like it.

However, environmentalists have managed to return to Parliament not only favored by global concern for global warming, but also thanks to a renovation and a skilled leader, Werner Kogler, who led them to assume clear positions of the left, diametrically far from Kurz's.

A similar problem raises the option of inviting SPÖ to power, a promoter of the motion of censure that caused the fall of the Kurz minority executive and whose leader, Rendi-Wagner, has spared no hard direct criticism of the popular.

Wanda Rudich

. (tagsToTranslate) Austria (t) faces (t) process (t) Government (t) Kurz

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