BREAKING NEWS
This content is not available in your region

Clock counts down for Swedish PM Lofven as snap election looms

Access to the comments Comments
By Reuters
Clock counts down for Swedish PM Lofven as snap election looms
Clock counts down for Swedish PM Lofven as snap election looms   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021
Text size Aa Aa

STOCKHOLM – Sweden moved closer to a snap election on Monday after fruitless attempts to form a government by both the centre-left and centre-right blocs left Prime Minister Stefan Lofven until the end of the day to resign or call a national vote.

Lofven lost a motion of no-confidence in parliament on June 21 after the Left Party withdrew its support, triggering frenzied talks as both the centre-left and centre-right tried to line up enough support to form a government.

“The decision that will shake up Swedish politics,” daily Dagens Nyheter said in its front page headline on Lofven’s dilemma. “Deadlock with just hours to go,” tabloid Aftonbladet said.

Lofven, a former welder has headed a fragile minority coalition with the Greens since 2018, relying on support from two small centre-right parties and the Left Party to remain in power.

Since then he has been juggling the goals of the business-friendly Centre and Liberals with that of Sweden’s former communist party, finally dropping the ball over reform of the highly regulated rental market.

His mismatched government is a result of the rise of the Sweden Democrats, a party with roots in the far-right fringe, which is now the third biggest in parliament.

The centre-right split over whether to seek a political accord with them after the 2018 elections, with the Centre and Liberals choosing to support their former rivals instead of giving the Sweden Democrats a chance to influence policy.

The Liberals have now changed their minds and returned to the centre-right mainstream.

But even with their support, and that of the Sweden Democrats, the Moderates – the biggest centre-right party – does not have the votes to form a government either.

Lofven has until midnight tonight to either hand in his resignation to the speaker of parliament or to call a snap election. Most commentators see a vote in September as the most likely outcome.

Opinion polls show a general election might not alter the make up of parliament.

Euronews provides articles from reuters as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes. Articles appear on euronews.com for a limited time.