President gives Kurz the job of forming a new Austrian government

Fri 20 October 2017 12:01 GMT | 16:01 Local Time

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Austria's president on Friday tasked election-winner Sebastian Kurz with forming a government, putting the 31-year-old conservative on course to become the world's youngest leader.

Kurz, nicknamed "wunderwuzzi" ("whizz-kid"), is now expected to enter coalition talks with the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), potentially giving the European Union a fresh headache, according to The Local.

Kurz's People's Party (ÖVP) came first in Sunday's election with 31.5 percent followed by the centre-left Social Democrats on 26.9 percent, final results showed late on Thursday.

The populist Freedom Party, highly critical of the EU, came a close third with 26.0 percent, just short of its 1999 record under former chief Jörg Haider of 26.9 percent.

Kurz said on Friday after being given a mandate by President Alexander Van der Bellen that he will now "sound out" all the other parties and then enter coalition negotiations.

"I want a new political culture, a new political style," he said. "I want a government that has the courage and the determination to bring about real change in Austria."

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