Sweden hunts new PM
Sweden’s general election left the centre-left coalition with just one seat more than the centre-right Alliance, with the populist Sweden Democrats as the third biggest party and blocking the formation of a majority government.
Social Democrat Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (pictured) was ousted on Tuesday amid efforts to find a new leader.
The Sweden Democrats, with 62 seats and shunned by all parties since entering parliament in 2010, backed the opposition Alliance in the vote: a compulsory test of a prime minister’s parliamentary backing after a general election.
A total of 204 of 349 parliamentarians voted against Lofven, while 142 backed him.
Speaker Andreas Norlén (pictured) has the official task of proposing a shortlist and will meet individually with the leaders of the eight parliamentary parties.
Both the blocs have said they are prepared to agree to a bipartisan compromise which would allow one side to form a minority government with the informal support of the other side but both say they should form the administration.
The only party open to talks with the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats is the Alliance’s Christian Democrats.
“We have agreed that we will not negotiate or cooperate with the Sweden Democrats and my focus is now to form an Alliance government that has constructive, result-oriented cross-bloc talks,” said Annie Lööf, Centre Party chief, which has been the most critical of the four-party Alliance about the Sweden Democrats.
The Speaker is holding his meetings in size order, with the Social Democrat boss Löfven yesterday (Thursday), followed by the centre-right Moderates’ Ulf Kristersson and the Sweden Democrats’ Jimmie Åkesson.
The populist boss has said his preferred partners would be the conservative Moderates and the Christian Democrats without the more centrist Centre Party and Liberal Party.
Akesson said his party want a say in policy as the price of supporting any government.
“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,” Akesson said this week.
Norlén can decide who he thinks can form a viable administration and put forward his proposal to parliament, which will vote on it. He has four attempts to get parliament to agree to a new premier before another election must be held within three months. This has never happened.
Norlen is widely expected to pick Kristersson, the Alliance head, for the top job.
Ready to cast a spell worthy of Harry Potter: Speaker Andreas Norlén. Picture credit: Wikimedia