- Chancellor of Austria
Chancellor of the
Republic of Austria
Coat of arms
Residence Ballhausplatz 2 Appointer Heinz Fischer,
as President of Austria
Term length No term limit Inaugural holder Karl Renner,
12 November 1918
Formation First Austrian Republic,
12 November 1918
Website www.bundeskanzler.at Austria
This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
The Federal Chancellor (German: Bundeskanzler) is the head of government in Austria. Its deputy is the Vice-Chancellor. Before 1918, the equivalent office was the Minister-President of Austria. The Federal Chancellor (also known more simply as the Chancellor) is considered to be the most powerful political position in Austrian politics.
The Chancellor is appointed by the President of Austria. The Chancellor assumes his office immediately after the appointment and is sworn in by the president.
In theory, the President can select anyone he wishes to be Chancellor. In practice, since the National Council has the right to pass a motion of no confidence in the government at any time, the Chancellor is always the leader of the majority party in the chamber or the biggest party in the governing coalition.
Role and powers
The Chancellor is "primus inter pares" ("first among equals") in the Austrian government. He chairs the meetings of the Austrian government but has no power to instruct other Federal Ministers. He is not the head of state, nor is he the commander in chief of the Austrian Armed Forces. Both roles are vested with the Federal President. The Chancellor cannot appoint nor dismiss other federal ministers. He can only recommend such an action to the Federal President, who may then appoint or dismiss a minister. However, it has become a very strong constitutional convention for the President to act on the Chancellor's advice. Furthermore the Chancellor normally also heads a federal ministry. Thus, although considered as the most powerful political position in Austria, he has a much weaker standing than the United States President or the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
The political power of the Chancellor mainly derives from his power in his political party, which he normally chairs, and can vary a lot depending on whether there is a coalition or a single-party cabinet. Normally the Chancellor is the leader of the biggest party in the Austrian parliament, however the Federal President is free to appoint any other person also. In 2000 the Federal president appointed Wolfgang Schüssel although his party then had only been 3rd in the previous elections.
List of Chancellors of Austria
- Politics of Austria
- List of Chancellors of Austria
- Vice-Chancellor of Austria
- President of Austria
- List of Federal Presidents of Austria
- Lists of incumbents
- List of Ministers-President of Austria
- List of Austrian Chancellors by Longevity
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