World News

Austrian chancellor urges coalition partner to stay in government

Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern addresses a news conference in Vienna, Austria, May 10, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern on Wednesday urged the conservative party in his coalition government to keep working with his Social Democrats rather than force a snap election after its leader announced he was stepping down.

Vice Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner, who also heads the conservative People’s Party, said earlier that he was resigning, raising the question of whether the often quarrelsome coalition would collapse.

“I am convinced that it makes sense to use the more than a year ahead to make the necessary changes in our country,” Kern told a quickly convened news conference. The government’s term runs until autumn of next year.

Reporting by Shadia Nasralla and Francois Murphy; Editing by Kevin Liffey