Upheaval in Sweden: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has lost the vote of no confidence in parliament. That leaves him with only two options.
The Swedish parliament has expressed its distrust of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. A majority of 181 of the total of 349 members of the Reichstag in Stockholm voted against the Prime Minister, who has been in office since 2014. This makes Löfven the first Swedish Prime Minister to lose such a vote of no confidence in office. He now has two options: he either resigns with his government or calls new elections within a week. How he will decide is still open.
Löfven and his Social Democrats have so far led Sweden in a minority government with the Greens. This red-green government was tolerated by the Center Party and the Liberals, with whom Löfven had entered into a political agreement in early 2019. After tough negotiations, the parties involved agreed on a rare collaboration across the traditional bloc boundaries.
Löfven offered a compromise – to no avail
Outside of this constellation, Löfven was also dependent on the support of the Left Party, which is now storming against a proposal to freely set rents for new buildings. Even a compromise proposal published on Sunday by Löfven and Zentrum boss Annie Lööf did not change anything. The left thinks the proposal is incompatible with the Swedish social model and wants it to be dropped entirely.
Against this background, the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats submitted a motion of no confidence against Löfven on Thursday. Several opposition parties, including the moderates and the Christian Democrats as well as the aforementioned Left Party, then announced that they would vote against Löfven.
The 63-year-old Löfven has criticized the action of the parties involved, also in view of the ongoing corona situation. It is still in a pandemic – putting Sweden in this situation into a political crisis is not what the country needs, he said last Sunday.
The next parliamentary election in Sweden is actually not planned for September 2022. This will also take place regularly at this point in time if there is now a new election in the next three months. If Löfven announces his resignation, Parliament President Andreas Norlén can initiate negotiations with the parties to look for a new head of government. Since nothing would change in the composition of the Reichstag, this could result in Löfven becoming Prime Minister again.