Austrian conservative Kurz plans coalition talks with far right

Top candidate of the People's Party (OeVP) Sebastian Kurz attends his party's victory celebration meeting in Vienna, Austria, October 15, 2017. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Austrian conservative leader Sebastian Kurz plans to hold coalition talks with the far-right Freedom Party (FPO), he said on Tuesday, a step towards bringing the anti-immigration party back into government after more than a decade in opposition.

Having won last week’s parliamentary election with 31.5 percent of the vote, Kurz’s party is well short of a majority and needs a coalition partner to gain control of parliament and form a stable government. Only two parties have enough seats to do that with — the Social Democrats and the FPO.

“I have therefore decided to invite (FPO leader) Heinz-Christian Strache and the FPO today to take part in coalition talks,” Kurz told a news conference at the headquarters of his People’s Party, adding that a minority government was a “good Plan B” if those talks failed. (Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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