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Swedish PM Wins Support in Parliament to Form New Government

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven received 117 votes in the 349-seat Riksdagen in favor of giving him the mandate, with 58 abstentions.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven won support from lawmakers on Wednesday to form new government after leading the country in a caretaking capacity since late last month.

Lofven received 117 votes in the 349-seat Riksdagen in favor of giving him the mandate, with 58 abstentions. In Sweden, prime ministers can govern as long as there is no parliamentary majority against them.

Lawmakers from the Center Party and the Left Party abstained from voting, paving the way for his victory, while Lofvens Social Democratic Party, the Greens and one independent lawmaker voted for him. All together, they accounted for 175 seats in parliament, the minimum number needed for a majority. The Social Democrats hold 100 seats.

Lofven has said he will form a two-party Cabinet with the Greens.

The 63-year-old Lofven lost a June 21 no-confidence vote called by the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats party. The move succeeded because the Left Party, a government ally, had withdrawn its support for Lofvens previous coalition government with the Greens over proposed legislation to tackle a housing shortage.

Instead of calling an early election, as the Swedish Constitution allowed him to, Lofven opted for the coalition-building process that is overseen by Parliament Speaker Andreas Norlen.

The first to be tasked by Norlen to try forming a new government was the head of Swedens center-right opposition Moderates party, Ulf Kristersson. However, he failed and said he was only able to get 174 lawmakers behind him.

Lofven, who has served as Swedens head of government since 2014, will remain caretaker prime minister until a new government is established.

Swedens next general election is scheduled for Sept. 11, 2022.

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first published:July 07, 2021, 21:11 IST