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Sweden PM booted from office in parliament vote of no confidence

26 September 2018

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven is to step down after he lost a mandatory confidence vote in parliament.

Swedish Parliament voted 204-142 to remove Lofven as prime minister Tuesday.

With neither bloc able to build a majority, the far-right, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, who won nearly 18 percent of votes in the election and is the country's third-biggest party, has demanded it be given influence over Swedish politics in exchange for its support in parliament. The balance of power in the...

Mr Lofven, who is optimistic that he might be able to form a government, said after the vote that he was "available for talks" with other parties, but categorically ruled out a coalition with the Sweden Democrats.

He will have four attempts to find a new government and if the deadlock continues, the country will hold another general election within three months.

But lacking a majority, he needs support either from the Sweden Democrats, with roots in the white supremacist fringe, or the centre left.

The speaker has four goes at picking a prime minister to form a government.

Swedish PM to stand down after losing confidence vote
Swedish Prime Minister loses confidence vote, new government now unclear

He said: "We will do everything in our power to stop any attempt to form a government, do everything to bring down every government, which does not give us a reasonable influence in proportion to our electoral support".

Centre-right Alliance leader Ulf Kristersson blasted Mr Lovfen, insisting he does not have enough support to continue leading Sweden.

"I am available for talks", Lofven said after the vote Tuesday.

An Alliance government has only "slim chances" of being formed, Linnaeus University political scientist Magnus Hagevi said. He will now be tasked with selecting a prime ministerial candidate.

Despite the uncertainty, markets barely reacted on Tuesday. Economic policy is unlikely to shift radically under a new government and there is broad agreement about the need to tackle structural problems in areas such as housing and the labor market.

The Social Democrats posted their worst election score in more than a century, but they remain Sweden's biggest party, far ahead of Kristersson's conservative Moderate Party and the Sweden Democrats.

But neither the left nor right has been willing to negotiate with the Sweden Democrats. Löfven will lead a transition government until a new administration is installed.

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Sweden PM booted from office in parliament vote of no confidence