Swedish PM Lofven ousted in no confidence vote

Stefan Lofven is photographed against a blue backgroundImage copyright
Reuters

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Stefan Lofven has been PM for four years, but failed to survive the first weeks of the new government

Sweden’s prime minister Stefan Lofven will have to stand down after losing the support of parliament.

The nationalist Sweden Democrats (SD) backed the vote to remove him, weeks after a general election that delivered a hung parliament.

In Tuesday’s dramatic vote, 204 MPs voted against Mr Lofven while 142 voted in favour.

Parliament’s speaker will now propose a new leader – a process that could take weeks.

Mr Lofven is expected to stay on as caretaker prime minister while his replacement is decided.

The job could fall to Ulf Kristersson, leader of the Moderates. The new speaker of the parliament, Andreas Norlen, is also a member of the Moderates, confirmed in the position on Monday with the support of SD.

Neither of the main blocs intends to govern with the nationalist SD, the third-largest party in the new parliament.

While the SD are expected to back a Moderate candidate, Mr Lofven warned the centre-right bloc on Tuesday against relying on the support of a party “founded by Nazis”.

Mr Lofven, the leader of the centre-left Social Democrats, came to power in 2014. His centre-left alliance won 144 seats in this month’s election, one more than the centre-right opposition.

While Mr Kristersson is widely seen as the person most likely to form a new government, other may be invited to do so if he fails.

Speaking after the vote, Mr Lofven said he intended to work to form another government across the political divide.

“I see good opportunities to continue as prime minister,” he said.

But he said he would never support a government that relied on the nationalist SD.

If four attempts to form government fail, new elections will be called – something that has never happened before. Mr Lofven said he did not believe that was something voters wanted.

Swedish PM Lofven ousted in no confidence vote

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