STOCKHOLM: Sweden’s centre-right opposition and the far right ousted Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in a vote of no-confidence on Tuesday, as the left and right blocs wrangle over who can form a new government after neither won a majority in Sept 9 elections.
Lofven’s departure was widely anticipated. The head of the opposition four-party Alliance, Ulf Kristersson, has since election night insisted that he intends to try to form a government.
With neither bloc able to build a majority, the far-right, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, who won almost 18 per cent of votes in the election and is the country’s third-biggest party, has demanded it be given influence over Swedish politics in exchange for its support in parliament.
But neither the left nor right has been willing to negotiate with the Sweden Democrats.
“Sweden needs a new government that has broad political support to undertake reforms,” Kristersson told parliament moments before the confidence vote on Tuesday.
A total of 204 of 349 members of parliament voted against Lofven, while 142 voted in favour.
The speaker of parliament, Andreas Norlen, will begin talks on Thursday with the leaders of the eight parties represented in parliament to determine who is best placed to form the next government.
Norlen, a member of Kristersson’s conservative Moderate Party, is widely expected to task Kristersson with the job. But the road ahead is tricky.
Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2018