Sweden looks set to end deadlock, keep Lofven as premier

ASSOCIATED PRESS
COPENHAGEN
Published 26.01.2019 15:38

A left-wing party in Sweden said yesterday it won't oppose caretaker Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in attempting to form a center-left, minority government after a four-month deadlock to form a coalition.

Two center-right parties already have agreed to abstain from voting against Lofven, who then can form a Social Democrat-led minority government, likely with the left-leaning Greens.

Jonas Sjostedt of the small Left Party said it would abstain in Friday's vote, saying the alternative would have been a center-right government, backed by the right-wing Sweden Democrats.

In Sweden, a prime minister can govern as long as there is no majority against the government leader. It means three parties will abstain from voting against Lofven on Friday and two, his own Social Democrats and the Greens, will vote for Lofven who now has 195 lawmakers behind him in the 349-seat Riksdagen. Majority is at 175 seats. The parliamentary speaker was expected to nominate Lofven later Wednesday. After Friday's vote, Lofven is expected to present his government.

Attempts to form a government have been done without the Sweden Democrats, which has neo-Nazi roots. Both the center-left and the center-right blocs have refused to cooperate with the party, which made great strides in the Sept. 9 election. The September election produced a hung parliament with the left-leaning side and the center-right bloc securing about 40 percent of the vote each, leaving neither with a majority and paving the way for months of uncertainty and complex coalition talks. The center-right opposition was left fuming.

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