The latest leadership change comes in the middle of a lockdown imposed in an effort to halt a wave of coronavirus infections.

Karl Nehammer was sworn in Monday as Austria’s third chancellor in two months, capping a round of upheaval triggered by the decision last week of Sebastian Kurz, the country’s dominant political figure of recent years, to bow out of politics, AP reports.

Nehammer, 49, has been Austria’s interior minister since early 2020. He also is taking over as leader of the conservative Austrian People’s Party, which Kurz led to election wins in 2017 and 2019.

President Alexander Van der Bellen said at a swearing-in ceremony for the reshuffled government that “determined” action against the coronavirus pandemic must be the government’s top priority, and encouraged it to restore “trust in politics that, I think, has been shaken for many people in recent weeks.”

Kurz resigned as chancellor in early October after prosecutors announced that he was one of the targets of an investigation into suspected bribery and breach of trust related to his rise to power. Kurz’s junior coalition partners, the environmentalist Greens, had demanded his replacement in October. He was succeeded as chancellor by Alexander Schallenberg.

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