Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kruz was ousted by a vote of no confidence during a special parliamentary session on Monday.
Parliament needed only a majority vote to pass the measure proposed by the opposition Social Democrats to oust Kurz and his Austrian People’s Party.
The move came after Kurz – the world’s youngest state leader at 31 – pulled the plug on a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party after a video emerged earlier this month showing its leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, allegedly offering favors to a purported Russian investor. Strache has since resigned as Freedom Party leader.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz attends at parliament session in Vienna, Austria, Monday, May 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
Herbert Kickl, a Freedom Party lawmaker who served as interior minister in the coalition, accused Kurz of using the Strache video as a chance to consolidate his own power.
"He made the entire Freedom Party responsible for the wrong actions of two people," Kickl told parliament. "He tried to take advantage of a difficult situation of a government partner. He tried to enlarge his own power base."
Social Democrat leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner, whose party brought the no-confidence vote, issued the same charge.
"This is a shameless, unrestrained and irresponsible power grab, this is what we are witnessing," she said. "But the power in our country is based on the people, and not you."
A strong showing by the Austrian People’s Party in Sunday’s European Union elections was not enough to save him.
Ahead of parliament’s vote, Kurz appeared to defend his government’s track record.
“I am very proud and satisfied with the work we have done as a government in the past year and a half,” he said.
He pledged to work constructively with the caretaker government.
"We will certainly not put any stones on the path of the next government," he said. "We will support them as much as possible."
Kurz is the first chancellor in post-war Austrian history to lose a confidence vote. It also makes Kurz the shortest-serving chancellor since 1945 with 525 days in office, according to the Austria Press Agency.
Now Austria’s president must decide who will be chancellor. This leader will head a caretaker government ahead of elections expected in September.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.