Austria's Kurz quits party and parliament, stunning national politics


Former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz gives a statement as he resigns from all political duties, in Vienna, Austria, December 2, 2021. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian conservative leader Sebastian Kurz, who resigned as chancellor in October after he was placed under investigation on suspicion of corruption, said on Thursday he was quitting politics in a surprise move that leaves a power vacuum in his party.

Kurz has been the dominant figure of his People's Party and Austrian political life since 2017, when he became party leader and then chancellor, winning a parliamentary election and forming a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party. He told a news conference he was leaving politics altogether.

(Reporting by Francois Murphy; editing by John Stonestreet)

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