The ÖVP has governed at the federal level in an alliance with the Greens since early 2020 and, at a special federal party conference on Saturday, 100 percent of the delegates voted for the Austrian Chancellor (who has been in office for just over five months now) to be their leader.
Nehammer’s predecessor Sebastian Kurz had resigned as Chancellor and ÖVP chairman in October 2021 following investigations into suspected corruption. Since then, Nehammer had held the party chairmanship on an interim basis.
Sebastian Kurz has since completely retired from politics and now works for American investor and billionaire Peter Thiel, who has close ties to former US President Donald Trump.
Prior to the vote, Nehammer gave a speech promoting his election as party chairman: “We are the first servants of this country, and with your help, I will also become the federal party chairman of the People’s Party,” he said.
The heads of the ÖVP traditionally tend to get high results in their first election as chairman. Kurz was elected party leader in 2017 with 98.7 percent of the vote. However, there has never been a 100 percent result in a first-time election until now.