Kurz tasked with forming new Austrian government

Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen welcomes Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, from left, for talks following Sunday's election at the Hofburg palace in Vienna, Austria, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. Kurz will get the order for forming a new government by the president. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz speaks during a joint news conference with Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen after their talks at the Hofburg palace in Vienna, Austria, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. Kurz got the order to form a new government after Sunday's election. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

VIENNA — Austria's president has formally tasked conservative leader Sebastian Kurz with forming a new government after his party finished first in last weekend's election.

Kurz said after meeting President Alexander Van der Bellen on Friday that he wants to put together a government "that has the courage and determination to bring about real change in Austria."

Kurz said he plans to hold talks with all the parties in the new parliament.

The 31-year-old Kurz, who is foreign minister in the outgoing government, is on track to become Europe's youngest leader.

The likeliest coalition partner for his Austrian People's Party is the right-wing, anti-immigration Freedom Party. But he could also try to renew its alliance with the center-left Social Democrats, who led the increasingly fractious outgoing administration.

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