Sweden: Prime Minister resigns after right-wing and far-right coalition wins

Sweden’s Social Democratic Prime Minister Magdalena Andersen resigned in recognition of the victory of the right-wing and far-right coalition.

“Thank you for the hope – now we will restore order in Sweden! Ulf Kristerson, leader of the Conservative Party, immediately responded on Facebook about who will succeed him. “I will now start the work to form a new effective government,” he added.

With 176 seats, including 73 for the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD), the four-party coalition is slightly ahead of the left-wing one (173 seats), according to almost final tallies covering more than 99% of the vote. Polling stations, the results of which were made public by the Election Commission.

Sunday’s elections were so tight that a few tens of thousands of votes were counted missing on Wednesday to verify the full results, which ultimately shifted one more seat from left to right.

The change is historic: never before has a Swedish government relied on the Sweden Democrats in parliament, with 20.6% of the vote in the election and a new ranking as the second party.

“Now the work to make Sweden good again begins,” its president Jimmy Akesson responded on Facebook, pledging “creative energy and initiative.”

The successor to a neo-Nazi group formed in 1988, the far-right party has gradually become mainstream in the Swedish political landscape, entering parliament with 5.7% in 2010 and climbing in every election since, against a backdrop of high immigration and criminality. Gang problems in Sweden.

Although the SD was the first party in the majority of rights, its leader did not get the support of the other three parties to become prime minister, which was promised to Ulf Kristerson.

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One of the more complicated points concerns the ambition shown by the SD to be part of the government. The three traditional right-wing parties (moderates, Christian Democrats and liberals) are against it.

According to political scientists, the SD Party, despite being the largest party among the four, is not a direct member of the government and only supports the government in parliament.

Perfect negotiations

But this narrow majority, from the center-right to the extreme right, looks very weak, especially since the liberals and the SD have very different political lines on many issues.

A former gymnast, Ulf Kristerson must succeed in the acrobatics of finalizing and maintaining the union of the three liberal, conservative and nationalist rights.

At the end of 2019 he was the first to envision a scenario of collaboration between the right and the SD.

“It’s a difficult parliamentary situation,” summarizes Michael Kiljam, with a very weak majority and “parties like the SD and the Liberals who don’t like each other”.

Behind the SD with 73 seats, 11 more than in the last elections of 2018, the moderates won 68 seats (-2), while the Christian Democrats got 19 (-3) and the Liberals 16 (-4).

On the left, the Social Democrats rose to 107 seats (+7), their good score of 30.4%, the left and center parties (24 each) and the Greens (18), but overall the coalition failed. Absolute majority.

In the vote share, the right-wing coalition gets 49.6%, compared to 48.9% for the left-wing coalition.

The Riksdag can formally hand over the task of building a majority with cross-party negotiations to Ulf Kristerson after the resignation of Mrs Andersen, the speaker of the Swedish parliament.

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