President of Austria Heinz Fischer (C) entrustes Austria's interim Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner (L) with government functions in Vienna, Austria, on May 9, 2016. / AFP / APA / GEORG HOCHMUTH
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Austria's unpopular and squabbling centrist coalition began the search Tuesday for a new leader and a new start after a surging populist far-right forced Chancellor Werner Faymann to resign.The two centrist parties have dominated Austrian politics since World War II but the writing has long been on the wall, only just managing to scratch together a majority at the last elections in 2013 .The two ruling parties' candidates were knocked out of the race with just 11 percent of the vote each against 35 percent for Hofer.Possible candidates to succeed Faymann, who was chancellor for almost eight years, include Christian Kern, 50, head of the national railways company, and Gerhard Zeiler, 60, former chief of national broadcaster ORF.
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