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The deadline for early elections has now passed

The deadline for early elections has now passed

In the first weeks of the year, there was intense speculation in local political circles that the government or the majority in Parliament might prematurely dissolve the National Assembly in order to hold early elections. At an informal meeting of ÖVP party members, the option of combining the National Council elections with the EU elections on June 9 was actually considered. The fear was that the expected defeat of the Austrian People's Party in the EU elections could become a major drag on the National Council elections on 29 September.

The deadline expired on Tuesday

This option has finally become off the table – for one simple reason: the deadline for holding early elections, or specifically the National Council and European Union elections, has passed. 82 days must elapse between the deadline and the election on Sunday. If there had been a merger, the deadline would have been March 19. As a rule, it takes another ten to fourteen days to make various decisions on the early dissolution of Parliament and to schedule new elections in due course. If the coalition pulls the emergency brake this weekend, the election could not be held until June 30 at the earliest, at the start of the holidays.

An election in the middle of the summer is ridiculous

In theory, the government could change its mind in the next few weeks, but that would force elections to be held on a Sunday in July or August, a domestic political absurdity. It is also unlikely that elections will be scheduled for September 1, 8, 15 or 22, as that would significantly shorten the hot phase of the election campaign, which begins after the summer holidays.

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A coalition with three advisors

What no one expected in recent years is now certain: that the Turquoise Green Coalition, launched in January 2020, will work until the end of the legislative term. But what was unusual was that the alliance was led by the three chancellors, Sebastian Kurz, Alexander Schallenberg, and Karl Nehammer, the “best of both worlds.”