Swedish PM ousted after losing no confidence vote


Sweden’s centre-left prime minister will be forced to step down after losing parliament’s support in a vote of no confidence.

Stefan Lofven, who has been in power since 2014, will resign after MPs voted 204-142 to remove him as prime minister on Tuesday, weeks after the country’s general election delivered a hung parliament.

Sweden now faces political uncertainly as neither of the major political blocs have the majority needed to form a new government.

Mr Lofven, leader of the Social Democratic Party, will continue as a caretaker prime minister until a new government is decided by the Riksdagen, the country’s legislature.

The country’s general election on 9 September stripped the incumbent Social Democrat-Green coalition of its majority when it won 144 seats, just one more than the Alliance coalition.

At the same time, the right-wing anti-immigration Sweden Democrats clinched 17.6% of the vote, its highest ever score, adding to fears of the rise in far-right populism across Europe.

Andreas Norlen of the Moderate Party addresses the media after he was appointed Sweden's new Speaker of the Parliament on Monday
Image: Speaker Andreas Norlen will now propose a new leader

Andreas Norlen, a centre-right Moderate party politician who was elected parliament Speaker on Monday, will now propose a new leader with the majority needed to form a new government.

He will have four attempts to find a new government and if the deadlock continues, the country will hold another general election within three months.

Analysts predict he will choose Ulf Kristersson, leader of the Moderates – the biggest Alliance party – to attempt to form a new administration.

Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson is expected to be nominated by the Speaker to form a new government
Image: Moderate party leader Ulf Kristersson has been tipped as a potential PM

With no majority in the 349-seat parliament, Mr Kristersson will need support from the Sweden Democrats or the Social Democrats.

The Alliance of the Moderates, Centre, Liberals and Christian Democrats parties has said it will not negotiate with the Sweden Democrats, which wants to halt immigration and hold a new vote on membership of the European Union.

Mr Lofven, who is optimistic that he might be able to form a government, said after the vote that he was “available for talks” with other parties, but categorically ruled out a coalition with the Sweden Democrats.

He said: “Time after time, their connections to racist and Nazi organisations have been exposed.”

Sweden Democrats party leader Jimmie Akesson speaks on the evening of the election on September 9
Image: Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Akesson says his part wants a say in policy making

He added that his party would not back an Alliance government that would continue the political stalemate.

“I wanted to continue to lead the country as prime minister,” he said.

“I want to lead a government that has broader support in the country’s parliament and that allows us to leave stalemate of bloc politics.”

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Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Akesson said his party would only support a government that would give them a say in policy.

He said: “We will do everything in our power to stop any attempt to form a government, do everything to bring down every government, which does not give us a reasonable influence in proportion to our electoral support.”

From – SkyNews