Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has averted snap elections after reaching a deal with the main opposition alliance, according to Swedish media. The ruling coalition's first budget was voted down earlier this month.
The agreement between the ruling coalition and the center-right opposition parties - the Moderates, the Liberals, the Christian Democrats, and the Center Party - would allow Lofven to continue as prime minister but makes it mandatory for the Social Democrats and Greens to pass the opposition-proposed budget in the parliament.
Earlier this month, Lofven had to call a snap vote for March 22 when the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats voted against his budget for 2015, backing an alternative financial bill tabled by the opposition.
"This agreement means that Sweden can be governed even in a difficult parliamentary situation," Lofven said during a press conference in Stockholm on Saturday, adding that a new election was "not topical" any more.
September's general election saw the Sweden Democrats emerge as the third-largest party, which gave the far-right group an upper hand in parliament. The party had intended to turn any snap election into a referendum on the Scandinavian country's flexible immigration policies.
Opinion polls showed the fledgling minority center-left coalition was unlikely to break the political deadlock through fresh elections in March, as neither the center-right parties nor the Social Democrats-Greens alliance was in a position to gain a majority.
shs/se (Reuters, AFP)