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World’s youngest leader declares victory in Austrian election

The leader of Austria’s conservative People’s Party has declared victory in the country’s general elections, setting him up to become the world’s youngest head of government.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz claimed victory on Sunday night after projections showed his party to be well in the lead with over than 90 percent of the ballots counted.

The 31-year-old will be the world’s youngest leader after Vanessa D’Ambrosio, 28, regent of San Marino, completes her rotating co-leadership arrangement at the end of October. Kurz is two years younger than North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and eight years younger than France’s Emmanuel Macron.

“I am truly overwhelmed,” Kurz told his supporters after polls were shut down. “We made the impossible possible. Thank you very much for your commitment and this historic success,” he added. “Today is a historic day, it is our chance to take the leadership of our country and to undertake real changes. Therefore thank you.”

Despite his victory, without an outright majority, Kurz will need to form a coalition government. He has so far declined from announcing his upcoming strategy, noting that he is waiting to see whether the Social Democratic Party or the Freedom Party (FPO) will come in second.

“Let’s give it a couple of days. Then we will see what the result really looks like,” he said.

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