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Stefan Löfven faces deadline to form viable government coalition

Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven has until the end of the day to secure all the votes he needs to be reinstated as prime minister.

Stefan Löfven faces deadline to form viable government coalition
Stefan Löfven discussing the government situation with the speaker of parliament, Andreas Norlén, over a bowl of strawberries. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

Unless Löfven asks for more time or abandons his bid, a vote could be held in parliament on Wednesday at the earliest.

The speaker of parliament, Andreas Norlén, handed the torch to Löfven last week, after opposition rival Ulf Kristersson of the Moderate Party failed in his attempts to form a new government.

This came after Löfven lost a vote of no confidence on June 21st, and resigned, thereby triggering a round of talks between party leaders and the speaker, who has the role of proposing potential prime minister candidates based on an assessment of what a government backed by a parliamentary majority could look like.

If all members of parliament vote according to the party line, the parties that will vote against Löfven (the Moderates, Christian Democrats, Liberals and Sweden Democrats) have 174 votes in total, which is one vote short of a majority.

All Löfven needs is 175 MPs to either vote for him or abstain.

You can catch up with Sweden’s government crisis in The Local’s articles below, or by listening to our podcast Sweden in Focus.

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2022 SWEDISH ELECTION

Sweden’s right-wing parties agree to bring back Norlén as Speaker 

The four parties backing Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson as prime minister on Sunday announced that they had agreed to keep the current Speaker, Andreas Norlén in place, when the role is put to a vote as parliament opens on Monday.

Sweden's right-wing parties agree to bring back Norlén as Speaker 

The parties won a three-seat majority over the bloc led by the incumbent Social Democrats in Sweden’s general election on September 11th, and are currently in the middle of negotiating how they will form Sweden’s next government. 

Sweden’s parliament meets at 11am for the official installation of the 349 MPs for this mandate period. The votes for the Speaker and three Deputy Speakers are the first item on the agenda, after which the parties each select their parliamentary leaders and then vote on who should chair each of the parliamentary committees. 

READ ALSO: What happens next as parliament reopens? 

In a joint press release announcing the decision, the parties also agreed that the Sweden Democrats would be given eight of the 16 chairmanships the bloc will have of parliamentary committees in the next parliament, and that MPs for all four parties would back Julia Kronlid, the Sweden Democrats’ Second Deputy Leader, as the second deputy Speaker, serving under Norlén. 

In the press release, the parties said that Norlén had over the last four years shown that he has “the necessary personal qualities and qualifications which the role requires”. 

The decision to retain Norlén, who presided over the 134 days of talks and parliamentary votes that led to the January Agreement in 2019, was praised by Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson. 

Norlén, she said in a statement, had “managed his responsibilities well over the past four years and been a good representative of Sweden’s Riksdag.” 

The decision to appoint Kronlid was opposed by both the Left Party and the Green Party, who said that she supported tightening abortion legislation, and did not believe in evolution.

The Green Party’s joint leader Märta Stenevi said that her party “did not have confidence in Julia Kronlid”, pointing to an interview she gave in 2014 when she said she did not believe that humans were descended from apes.

The party has proposed its finance spokesperson Janine Alm Ericson as a rival candidate. 

The Left Party said it was planning to vote for the Centre Party’s candidate for the post second deputy Speaker in the hope of blocking Kronlid as a candidate.

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