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Swedish finance minister given more time to try to form new government

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By Reuters
Swedish finance minister given more time to try to form new government
Swedish finance minister given more time to try to form new government   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021

STOCKHOLM -Swedish Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson has been given more time to try to form a new government, and is hopeful of striking a deal with the Left Party to become the country’s first female prime minister.

Andersson is negotiating with the Left Party over support in a potential confirmation vote. Parliament’s speaker said in a statement that Andersson now had until Nov. 22.

“The conversations were constructive so in that sense it is worth asking for more time. I think we can reach an agreement,” Andersson told a news conference.

Andersson was elected by the Social Democrat party to replace former Prime Minister Stefan Lofven as its chairperson this month. Lofven handed in his resignation as prime minister last week. [L8N2S26V2]

Lofven led a shaky, minority government with the Greens from 2014.

It relied on support from parties on the left and right and Andersson will also need to find support from outside the current coalition to win a confirmation vote in parliament.

While she does not need a majority in the 349-seat house to back her as prime minister, she must avoid a majority voting against her.

She has secured the backing of the centre-right Centre Party but she also needs tacit support from the Left Party.

If Andersson passes a confirmation vote, she faces a tough task to push through a budget later this month.

On Tuesday, three opposition parties said they would back an alternative finance bill. Without support for the government’s budget from the Left Party and the Centre Party, the opposition’s bill would be passed.

The Centre Party – which was formerly part of a right-of-centre government – and the Left Party – the former communists – have very different policy priorities.

Parliament will vote on the budget on Nov. 24.