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Caretaker PM given green light to form new coalition in Sweden

A vote in parliament on Stefan Lofven’s new government is set for Wednesday.

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Sweden’s caretaker prime minister Stefan Lofven (Claudio Bresciani/AP)

Sweden’s caretaker prime minister Stefan Lofven (Claudio Bresciani/AP)

Sweden’s caretaker prime minister Stefan Lofven (Claudio Bresciani/AP)

Sweden’s caretaker prime minister Stefan Lofven moved a step closer to forming a new governing coalition after the country’s parliament speaker said Mr Lofven had enough backing to form a two-party Cabinet.

Parliament speaker Andreas Norlen said Mr Lofven told him he can find enough support in the 349-seat Riksdag assembly needed to form a Cabinet.

A vote in parliament on his government is set for Wednesday and Mr Lofven is expected to present his government on Friday.

“Stefan Lofven has a solution that can be tolerated by the Riksdag,” Mr Norlen told a press conference.

“I will therefore appoint Stefan Lofven as prime ministerial candidate.”

Monday’s development means two groups, the Centre Party and the Left Party, will abstain from voting against Mr Lofven and two, his own Social Democrats and the Greens, will vote for him.

This gives Mr Lofven 175 politicians in Riksdagen, the exact number of seats needed to secure a majority.

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In Sweden, a prime minister can govern as long as there is no majority against him or her.

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Stefan Lofven has been named as prime ministerial candidate (Stina Stjernkvist/AP)

Stefan Lofven has been named as prime ministerial candidate (Stina Stjernkvist/AP)

AP/PA Images

Stefan Lofven has been named as prime ministerial candidate (Stina Stjernkvist/AP)

Neither the Centrists nor the Left Party are part of the caretaking government but have been supporting it.

On June 21, Mr Lofven, 63, lost a 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The move succeeded because the Left Party, a government ally, had withdrawn its support for Mr Lofven’s administration over proposed legislation to tackle a housing shortage.

Until then, Mr Lofven headed a minority government composed of a coalition between the Social Democratic and the Greens.

His party holds 100 seats out of 349 in parliament.

Mr Lofven, who has served as Sweden’s head of government since 2014, remains caretaker prime minister until a new government is established.


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