Ulf Kristersson, leader of the Moderate Party, said that there should not be a repeat of the situation seen in last two mandate periods, where the Social Democrats have twice had to rule on a budget drawn up by the right-wing opposition.
“It is not sustainable that a government grips tightly to power when it cannot get its economic policies passed,” he told Magdalena Andersson during Prime Minister’s question time in the Swedish parliament. “Can the two of us agree that no government should take power without having secured support for its economic policies?”
It was unclear whether this was a serious proposal or a gambit intended to underline the weakness of the government in the run-up to Sweden’s general election in September.
Securing support for economic policies is arguably more of a challenge for Magdalena Andersson, as two of the parties likely to support her as Prime Minister after the election, the Centre Party and the Left Party, are deeply divided on economic politics, even though they are united on their unwillingness to back a government dependent on the populist Sweden Democrats.
The Centre Party has supported Andersson as Prime Minister without voting for the Social Democrats’ budget.
Kristersson’s call comes after the Social Democrats on Wednesday called for its own budget proposition to fall after a compromise on pensions agreed with the Centre Party was blocked by the parliament’s finance committee from being put before parliament.
“This was a graphic example of the government’s impotence and the decay of government power,” he said.
Sweden’s prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, did not respond to Kristersson’s proposal, but pointed out that after the last election he had failed to establish a government at all.
“I think that many among the Swedish people wonder what is happening in parliament just now and think that it is chaotic and incomprehensible,” she said. “My ambition is to establish a government that can get through its economic policies.”