Sweden to end months without a government | News | DW | 16.01.2019
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Sweden to end months without a government

Stockholm has been trapped in deadlock, with no party wanting to govern with the far-right Sweden Democrats. Social Democrat PM Stefan Lofven is set to retain his post by promising to bring his party to the right.

Sweden looked set to finally resolve four months of political deadlock on Wednesday and allow Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to take a second term in office. The Left party said it would abstain in a crucial vote on Friday, clearing the way for Lofven and his patchwork coalition.

Lofven, leader of the Social Democrats, has been leading a caretaker government since elections on September 9 yielded inconclusive results. Although the Social Democrats won the most votes, their 31.1 percent support left them grappling to form a coalition in a country with eight mainstream parties and proportional representation.

These problems were compounded by the fact that most other parties wanted to govern without the support of the Left and the far-right Sweden Democrats, who are rooted in Norwegian white supremacist circles.

But the Social Democrats have managed to pull together an unusual union of the left and right wing by gaining the support of the Greens, Liberals, and the Center party. In doing so, however, Lofven has had to promise to take his traditional center-left party to the right.

"Sweden needs a government," said Lofven, adding that he was "humbled to have been nominated" for Friday's vote.

With the Left party abstaining from the vote, Lofven was pretty much guaranteed success. However, the leftists have warned that they would vote down the new government if the prime minister went forward with reforms on the labor law and rent hikes for newly-built homes.

es/msh (AP, dpa)

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