The Swedish government is teetering on the brink of collapse after a majority of parliamentarians said on Thursday they would support a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Stefan Lofven.
The vote, scheduled for Monday, could lead to a snap election or a caretaker government if it goes against Leuven and his centre-left minority coalition.
All three right-wing opposition parties said they would support the vote, which angered the former Communist Party of the Left with plans to scrap rent restrictions for new apartments. The four parties together have a majority in Parliament.
The high drama – which comes as Sweden grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic with a delta version first discovered in India – underscores how fragmented It became politics in the Scandinavian country.
On Thursday, Lofven blamed the left for the vote and said it was irresponsible to “throw Sweden into a political crisis in the current situation”.
The rise of anti-immigration populism Sweden’s Democrats It has shaken up the traditional left-right politics that had dominated Sweden for decades. Initially pariahs from the political system, the Swedish Democrats now appear to form an anti-immigration bloc of three centre-right parties against the center-left group headed by Lofven’s Social Democrats and its junior partner, the Green Party.
But opinion polls suggest the two sides may struggle to put together a cohesive coalition with a majority in parliament, suggesting there could be tough negotiations ahead.
Löfven, a former trade unionist, is widely seen as one of Sweden’s most effective prime ministers of recent times, although he has retained power several times despite the odds.
Even if Lofven loses the no-confidence vote, there is a chance he will continue as prime minister as head of the caretaker administration. He can also call for early elections or simply resign and leave the task of forming a new government to the House of Representatives.
Monday’s vote came from the Swedish Democrats, who capitalized on the left’s concern about ending rent controls. “If we have an opportunity to replace this ruined government, we will seize it,” said Henrik Feng, the parliamentary leader of the Swedish Democrats.
The Swedish government has been criticized by the state Covid Committee And a separate parliamentary committee to deal with the epidemic in which Stockholm refused to impose a… official closing. Sweden has suffered significantly higher deaths and hospitalizations than neighboring Norway, Finland or Denmark, but it has fared better than many EU countries that have closed down.
Ulf Christerson, the moderate leader and potential prime minister should the opposition come to power, set the battleground for any snap election. “This government has failed on the really big issues of our time: crime, unemployment and integration,” he wrote on Facebook on Thursday.
the gang Shooting and explosions It has increased sharply in recent years, leading to growing criticism from Sweden’s Democrats and the rest of the right about how the country has taken in immigrants more than most EU countries and has struggled to integrate them.
Lofven, who has been in charge since 2014, is already the only Swedish prime minister Lose confidence in votingA move in 2018 that began protracted government negotiations that ended with his continuation in his position.