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Austrian Conservatives call for snap election

Latest update : 2008-07-07

Austria's conservative vice-chancellor Wilhelm Molterer said his party would seek an election as early as September, arguing that the Social Democrats had departed from a coalition agreement allowing the two parties to rule the country together.

VIENNA - The leader of Austria's co-governing conservative party called on Monday for a snap parliamentary election, saying it could no longer work with Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer's Social Democrats.

 

Vice Chancellor Wilhelm Molterer said the Social Democrats had abandoned the government's platform, notably with their call last month for a referendum on future changes to European Union treaties, which conservatives branded "populist".

 

"I propose snap elections," Molterer, who is also finance minister, told reporters in Vienna. "Enough is enough ... The Social Democrats have left the common ground of the government."

 

Molterer and Gusenbauer have led a shaky government since 2007 and have wrangled constantly over issues including health reform, taxes and schools. Both have lost support since the last election in October 2006, according to opinion polls.

 

Molterer said his People's Party wanted an early election as soon as September, and had asked the Social Democrats to back a joint motion to dissolve the Austrian parliament.

Date created : 2008-07-07

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