Sep 26, 2019

Austria's election: Sebastian Kurz set for return to power

Sebastian Kurz at a TV debate. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Image

Four months after he was ousted as Austria's chancellor, 33-year-old Sebastian Kurz is set to return to power in Sunday's election.

Flashback: Kurz's coalition with the far-right Freedom Party collapsed when video emerged of that party's leader "promising state contracts to a woman posing as the niece of a Russian oligarch in exchange for favourable press coverage," per the Economist.

  • Kurz lost a confidence vote after expelling the Freedom Party from government, but he remains popular.
  • His center-right Austrian People’s Party looks set for a big plurality, but not a majority. The biggest question is which party he'll look to partner with this time.

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Austria's youngest chancellor wins election months after far-right scandal

Sebastian Kurz. Photo: Askin Kiyagan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The center-right Austrian People's Party appears to have won the country's snap election on Sunday after claiming 37% of the vote, according to Politico Europe.

Why it matters: Sebastian Kurz, the head of the Austrian People's Party and the country's youngest-ever chancellor, is expected to win back his job after a cash-for-contracts scandal crippled his government 4 months ago.

Go deeperArrowSep 29, 2019

Polish parliamentary elections raise stakes for presidential vote

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the Law and Justice political party. Photo: Carsten Koall/Getty Images.

Poland's Law and Justice party (PiS) prevailed this weekend in parliamentary elections marked by a record turnout of 61%, cementing the euroskeptic party's hold on power domestically and potentially impacting democratic trends across the EU.

The big picture: The PiS has presided over fast economic growth (above 5% in 2018), the delivery of generous social programs, and a more conservative course on many issues, such as LGBT rights, that are deeply polarizing. But after an often controversial 4-year term, the party has now received a sign of popular approval.

Go deeperArrowOct 14, 2019

Law and Justice, Poland's ruling nationalist party, easily wins elections

Leader of the Law and Justice party Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Photo: JP Black/LightRocket via Getty Images

Poland's ruling Law and Justice party is set to extend its parliamentary majority after coming in first with 43.6% of the vote in Sunday's elections, according to an exit poll reported by AP.

Why it matters: The right-wing, populist Polish government has clashed with the European Union over issues related to the rule of law, with the EU passing a motion in 2017 censuring Poland for cracking down on judicial independence. While Law and Justice has maintained popularity thanks in part to a generous social welfare system and strong economic growth, the party's social conservatism and targeting of LGBT people have contributed to an increasingly polarized society.

Keep ReadingArrowOct 13, 2019