Social Democrats’ Löfven can’t sway Centre Party, likely to lose Swedish PM bid

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Centre Party leader Annie Lööf (left) and Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. (Jessica Gow/AFP/Getty Images; Henrik Montgomery/AFP/Getty Images)
Attempts to form a government are back to square one after Center party leader Annie Lööf said on Monday that she will not be supporting Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven as prime minister.

“We will vote no to Stefan Löfven as prime minister”, party leader Annie Lööf said on Monday morning.

After September’s election, the parliament, the Riksdag, is split three ways with no bloc able to form a majority that would support a government. The centre-left Social Democrat party, the biggest, has been in talks with the Center and Liberal parties to try to get their support. Now that Center leader Annie Lööf says this has failed, it is unlikely the Social Democrats can form a government.

The Center party wanted the Social Democrats to embrace more liberal and market based policies in areas including housing and tax cuts.

The country is currently run by the Social Democrats and Greens in a transitional government. Their attempt to propose a non-political state budget also looks likely to fail, since the opposition Moderate Party will get more support in parliament as things stand. This would lead to changes including the abolition of the tax on flying, plus more funding to the armed forces.

Löfven hopes to continue talks

The Social Democrat leader has responded to the Center Party’s walkout from government talks by repeating that he is willing to negotiate.

Stefan Löfven says in a Monday press conference that the attempt to get support for him to remain as prime minister has stalled, and the process needs to move on in some other way. But he does not seem to be giving up on trying to gain support from the Center, Liberal and Green parties.

Löfven is facing a vote in parliament sometime this week. He must avoid a majority uniting against him, but after the Center party’s statement today he is set to be voted down. This is the second such vote, and after two more a new election would be triggered. The leader of the second biggest party has already been voted down.

Related stories from around the North:

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Norway: Rebel region in Arctic Norway slams door on Oslo government, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Centre Party’s Lööf latest leader to fail in breaking Swedish Parliament deadlock, Radio Sweden

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