Austrian foreign minister calls for early elections

Austria's foreign minister, an influential figure in the country's junior governing party, is calling for early elections after the vice chancellor announced his resignation.

Sebastian Kurz is considered the center-right Austrian People's Party's likeliest new leader after Reinhold Mitterlehner quit Wednesday, citing persistent party infighting. The conservatives are junior partners in an often bad-tempered "grand coalition" with the center-left Social Democrats of Chancellor Christian Kern.

Kurz, 30, didn't specify Friday whether he will take the party leadership. A decision on an interim leader is expected Sunday.

Kern has said he hopes to keep the governing coalition alive until an election due late next year.

But Kurz said: "I personally think early elections would be the right way to make change possible in Austria."