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All Austrian far-right ministers to resign: Party spokesman

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Vienna, Austria May 20, 2019, 11.13 PM (IST)

All remaining ministers from Austria's far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) are to resign from the government after their party colleague Herbert Kickl was fired as interior minister, a party spokesman said Monday.

The ministers would make good on their threat to resign en masse if Kickl was forced out, the spokesman confirmed to the Austrian APA agency.

It comes shortly after Kickl was fired by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in order not to prejudice any possible enquiry into the corruption scandal which forced the resignation of Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache and the collapse of the country's coalition government.

Resignation of Strache over the scandal also caused the collapse of the coalition government and the calling of early elections.

Kurz said that Kickl should have resigned in order to ensure a "complete, transparent investigation" into the affair but that he had refused to do so.

Therefore Kurz said he had "to propose the interior minister's firing to the president".

The rest of the FPOe's ministers have threatened to resign in the event of Kickl's being forced out.

"I assume that this will be the case," Kurz said, and added that if this happens, "until the election... the vacant posts will be filled by experts or senior civil servants".

Story highlights

The ministers would make good on their threat to resign en masse if Kickl was forced out, the spokesman confirmed to the Austrian APA agency.