Austria's ex-chancellor Kurz says he's leaving politics

Austria’s former chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, said Thursday that he is quitting politics two months after stepping down as leader amid corruption allegations

BERLIN -- Austria's former chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, said Thursday that he is quitting politics, two months after stepping down as leader amid corruption allegations.

Kurz said the recent birth of his first child had motivated him to take the step.

The 35-year-old said he had always done his best to "move our beautiful Austria a little bit in the right direction,” but acknowledged having made some mistakes during his 10-year career.

Still, Kurz insisted: “I'm neither a saint, nor a criminal.”

“I'm a human being with strengths and weaknesses,” he told reporters in Vienna, adding that he looked forward to defending himself against the corruption allegations in court.

Kurz resigned as chancellor in October after Austrian prosecutors announced that he was one of the targets of an investigation into suspected bribery and breach of trust. Kurz’s junior coalition partners, the Greens, had demanded his replacement.

He was succeeded as chancellor by Alexander Schallenberg, the former foreign minister.

Austrian media reported that Interior Minister Karl Nehammer could replace Kurz as the head of the conservative Austrian People’s Party and possibly succeed Schallenberg as chancellor.