SWEDEN’S political crisis has deepened further and left Europe on high alert after the Scandinavian country’s latest failure to form a new coalition Government.
By – Paul Withers
Swedish Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven revealed last night he had failed in his attempts to form a new Government in Sweden.
After the election of new Parliamentary speakers, centre right Moderates leader Ulf Kristersson was first given two weeks to try and form a new Government, but failed.
Mr Löfven was then handed the task but after his failure, Sweden is left with no clear candidate for a Prime Minister nearly two-months after the controversial inconclusive election results on September 9.
Following a meeting with Parliament speaker Andreas Norlén, Mr Löfven said: “In light of the responses I have had so far, in the current situation, the possibility does not exist for me to build a government that can be accepted by Parliament.”
The caretaker prime minister, who was previously ousted in a confidence motion after the election results left neither of the main two blocs with a majority, said talks with other party leaders had been constructive, but had not resulted in anything concrete.
He added: “The talks with the other party leaders have been sincere. This has led to greater understanding of each other’s positions.”
Parliament speaker Mr Norlén has now invited all four parties – the Social Democrats, Moderates, Sweden Democrats led by Jimmie Åkesson and Centre led by Annie Lööf – for joint talks to look at which alternatives can be explored further or excluded completely.
Mr Norlén revealed he will now take a more active role in the latest desperate attempt to solve the crisis and is hopeful meetings with the representatives of possible coalitions will result in a positive outcome as opposed to meeting them individually.
Mr Kristersson told Stockholm-based newspaper Aftonbladet: “We think it is good and welcome that the President takes a more active role.
“Obviously, we will actively participate in the discussions to bring the formation of Government closer to voting in the House.
“If no party changes its positions then, as the President noted, we approach extra choices.
“My bid for alliance government with all four parties, or with as many alliance parties as possible, is fixed.”
Another immediate concern for Sweden is its 2019 budget, a proposal for which must be put forward to Parliament by November 15.
A caretaker government has most of the same powers as a normal Government would process, but is not able to make any major decisions, which could include a budget proposal.
Mr Löfven previously said the Finance Ministry had started work on a budget proposal that was politically neutral, if his Govern,eat has no other option but to put one to a vote in Parliament.
The Sweden general elections saw the incumbent red-green coalition of the Social Democrats and Green, along with the backing Left party, win 144 seats – one seat more than the Alliance coalition – but just as in the previous election in 2014, short of a majority.
The Social Democrats share of the vote fell from 31.1 percent to 28.26 percent – its lowest level support in more than 100 years although the Moderates share also slumped from 23.3 percent to 19.84 percent.
The Sweden Democrats made the biggest gains, winning 62 seats to take its share of the vote up 4.68 percent to 17.53 percent.
The election resulted in a hung Parliament, with the centre-left and centre-right coalitions each holding around 40 percent of the seats, with the Sweden Democrats holding the remainder.
Read more: From 2018/09/18