Austrian far-right party throws out ex-leader Strache’s wife

October 23, 2019

BERLIN (AP) — Austria’s far-right Freedom Party has thrown out Philippa Strache, wife of party ex-leader and former Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, after she accepted a parliamentary seat won in last month’s election.

A terse party announcement Wednesday said Philippa Strache was expelled following her acceptance of the seat in a statement in which she complained of a “campaign of defamation.” It said her statement was damaging to the party.

Her acceptance of the seat followed a back-and-forth over whether the party could prevent Strache from taking it following the Sept. 29 election.

That election was prompted by a scandal centering on Heinz-Christian Strache that brought down Austria’s last coalition government.

The Freedom Party suspended the former vice chancellor after the election, in which it suffered heavy losses.