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Swedish PM hopeful says could shed partners to form centre-right govt

Swedish PM hopeful says could shed partners to form centre-right govt
FILE PHOTO: Swedish Moderate party leader Ulf Kristersson gives a news conference after a meeting with the Speaker of Parliament in Stockholm, Sweden, September 27, 2018. TT News Agency/Pontus Lundahl via REUTERS /File Photo   -   Copyright  TT NEWS AGENCY(Reuters)
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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Swedish Moderates leader Ulf Kristersson said on Friday he was prepared to form a government without other parties in the centre-right Alliance coalition after last month’s general elections effectively resulted in a hung parliament.

While forming a government consisting of all four Alliance parties remained the preferred option, Kristersson said he had offered other leaders in the coalition the option of supporting his government in parliament without joining his cabinet.

Neither the Alliance nor the centre-left bloc in parliament won a majority in the Sept. 9 elections, leaving the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, which has been shunned by all other parties, holding the balance of power.

Two junior members of the Alliance coalition, the Centre and Liberal parties, have ruled out forming a cabinet requiring even the tacit support of the nationalist Sweden Democrats, leaving the road to a stable government unclear.

Kristersson’s offer to his Alliance partners is a bid to resolve the impasse, but would still require some modicum of parliamentary support from the both the Sweden Democrats and any centre-right parties staying on the sidelines, a prospect that is far from assured.

“This government with three, two or one Alliance party would act just like a full Alliance government would,” Kristersson said in a lengthy Facebook post.

“Neither the Sweden Democrats nor the Left Party would be given influence over the government’s political direction.”

The Moderates leader was tasked with forming a government by the speaker earlier this month and must report his findings by Tuesday.

If Kristersson fails in his efforts, the task would likely be handed to Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven who was voted out of office by the Alliance and the Sweden Democrats in the wake of the elections.

The Sweden Democrats have said they will not accept a government that does not give them a say on policy, but is likely to find a ruling coalition of only Kristersson’s Moderates and the Christian Democrats more appealing than a full Alliance government.

(Reporting by Daniel Dickson and Johan Sennero; writing by Daniel Dickson and Niklas Pollard; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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