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Austria's President Alexander Van der Bellen (L) receives head of the People's Party (OeVP) Sebastian Kurz at his office in Vienna, Austria, October 23, 2017. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader


VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian conservative leader Sebastian Kurz said on Monday he has yet to decide which party he plans to start coalition talks with, though he was still widely expected to turn to the far-right Freedom Party within days.

Having won last week's parliamentary election with 31.5 percent of the vote, Kurz's party is well short of a majority, needing a coalition partner to gain control of parliament and form a stable government. Only two parties have enough seats to do that with -- the Social Democrats and the Freedom Party.

"It has yet to be decided with whom we want to start negotiations. I will clarify that in the coming hours or days," Kurz told reporters after a meeting with President Alexander Van der Bellen that many expected to be followed by an announcement on who coalition talks would be held with.

"There are certain issues that I would like to discuss again informally or clear up before I start negotiations," he added, declining to specify what those issues were.

(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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