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Austria holds early vote after far-right corruption scandal

Former Austrian chancellor and top candidate of the Austrian People's Party, OEVP, Sebastian Kurz arrives for a closing rally ahead of federal elections in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

VIENNA (AP) -- Austrians are electing a new Parliament, four months after a corruption scandal brought down ex-Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's coalition government with the far-right Freedom Party.

    Some 6.4 million voters aged 16 and up are eligible to cast ballots for Sunday's election.

    The Alpine country of 8.8 million has been run by a non-partisan interim administration appointed in June, after the publication of a video showing Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache appearing to offer favors to a purported Russian investor triggered the Kurz government's collapse.

    Kurz, whose center-right People's Party was leading recent opinion polls, will likely have to choose whether to form a fresh coalition with a chastened Freedom Party or team up with the center-left Social Democrats.

    First exit polls will be released after voting ends at 5 p.m. (1500 GMT).

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