The ÖVP advertising affair continues in rapid succession: after a turbulent special session of the National Council on Tuesday, the opposition parties agreed on Wednesday on a new committee of inquiry into the corruption investigations against the ÖVP.
Representatives of the SPÖ, FPÖ and NEOS will explain the common request on Wednesday afternoon. At the weekend, all parties had already emphasized that they wanted to set up another U-Committee. This should go beyond the current investigations into the advertisement affair.
According to previous statements, the parliamentary investigations should deal with the current corruption allegations against ex-Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) and his team as well as the chat messages that have become known.
The public prosecutor’s office is investigating a total of ten suspects on suspicion of breach of trust, bribery and corruption. Kurz’s team, who resigned as Chancellor on Saturday, is said to have organized the 35-year-old’s political ascent through polls paid for with taxpayers money. Kurz denies the allegations. It is the presumption of innocence.
Fierce debate in special NR session
On Tuesday, the ÖVP affair – and the result of the government declaration by the new Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) – caused an unusually dense and turbulent debate in the National Council: Schallenberg offered all parties to cooperate, while at the same time providing sharp criticism of motions of no confidence violent objection.
ÖVP and Greens emphasized that they wanted to work together, but the relationship was noticeably disturbed. The opposition settled with the “turquoise system Kurz”. As expected, the two motions of no confidence were rejected.
Poll researcher arrested
Apart from that, the arrest of pollster Sabine Beinschab on Tuesday caused the next bang in the ÖVP affair. The silence of the Economic and Corruption Public Prosecutor’s Office (WKStA) subsequently caused speculation. The question raised by the media as to whether the house searches behind the affair could have been revealed in advance was followed by an exchange of blows between the opposition and the ÖVP on Tuesday evening.