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Sebastian Kurz in search of coalition partners

October 2nd, 2019

A left-wing columnist hopes that the Austrian People’s Party will form a government with the Greens rather than the anti-immigrant FPÖ. A conservative commentator wishes just the opposite. Another pro-government analyst finds it undemocratic that voters have no leverage over coalition arrangements.

Népszava’s Tamás Rónay thinks that Sebastian Kurz will need to make a tough choice between the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) and the Greens. The left-wing commentator recalls that Kurz had criticized the FPÖ, and therefore it would be difficult for him to form another government coalition with them. Rónay hopes that Kurz will opt for the Greens or the liberal Neos instead. Rónay thinks that for this, the Austrian People’s Party would need to tone down its radical anti-immigrant rhetoric. If it did so, it could offer an example to other European governments as well, Rónay concludes.

In Magyar Hírlap, Mariann Őry hopes that Sebastian Kurz will form a government with the FPÖ. The pro-government columnist suggests that the Greens are popular among urban elites who oppose strict immigration control. She suspects that if an ÖVP-Green government is formed, Austria would no longer advocate tough anti-immigrant measures. She also fears that an ÖVP-Green coalition would encourage the German CDU/CSU to seek alliances with the Greens rather the anti-immigration AfD.

On Mozgástér blog, Tamás Lánczi finds it highly controversial that voters have no leverage over Sebastian Kurz’s coalition talks. The pro-government analyst deems it a violation of basic democratic norms that voters do not know the potential government partners when they cast their votes. All this is nothing but an elitist stunt, Lánczi claims. He adds that those parties that offer a clear program and outline their coalition plans are labeled as radicals – but in fact, they are the parties that operate in a true democratic fashion.

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