Swedish party sug­gests smaller govt to get past im­passe

Oman Daily Observer - - EUROPE -

STOCK­HOLM: Swe­den’s largest cen­tre-right party said on Fri­day it was pre­pared to form a govern­ment without other par­ties in its bloc, in an at­tempt to clear a po­lit­i­cal im­passe left by last month’s in­con­clu­sive election.

Swedish Moder­ates leader Ulf Kris­ters­son said the other par­ties could sup­port his cabi­net from out­side govern­ment — in an ap­par­ent bid to get around their re­fusal to work di­rectly with na­tion­al­ists who cur­rently hold the bal­ance of power.

Other mem­bers of the cen­tre-right Al­liance bloc did not com­ment on the plan — which was quickly re­jected by other groups.

If the scheme fails, the cen­treleft will likely get a chance to form a govern­ment next week. Fail­ing that, the coun­try could face fresh elec­tions.

The plan fol­lowed weeks of fraught ne­go­ti­a­tions af­ter nei­ther Kris­ters­son’s cen­tre-right Al­liance bloc nor a group­ing of cen­tre-left par­ties won enough votes on Septem­ber 9 to form a ma­jor­ity.

The vote left the anti-im­mi­gra­tion Swe­den Democrats, which has been shunned by all other par­ties, hold­ing the bal­ance of power in a deeply di­vided Riks­dag.

Kris­ters­son pub­lished a long Face­book post propos­ing that his party form a govern­ment which other mem­bers of the cen­tre-right Al­liance block could sup­port in votes but not have to for­mally join.

“Nei­ther the Swe­den Democrats nor the Left Party would be given in­flu­ence over the govern­ment’s po­lit­i­cal di­rec­tion,” he wrote.

Nev­er­the­less, the Swe­den Democrats or left-wing par­ties would at least have to agree not vote against any such mi­nor­ity govern­ment for it to sur­vive. None of the other mem­bers of Al­liance mem­bers — the Cen­tre Party, the Lib­er­als and the Chris­tian Democrats — com­mented on the pro­posal.

Sev­eral mem­bers of the cen­tre-left So­cial Democrats, which is cur­rently in a care­taker govern­ment, dis­missed the plan, say­ing it would de­pend on sup­port from the far right.

“Kris­ters­son is show­ing his true colours,” Jus­tice and In­te­rior Min­is­ter Mor­gan Jo­hans­son said in a tweet.

The Swe­den Democrats, which wants sub­stan­tial curbs on im­mi­gra­tion, also ap­peared to dis­miss the scheme.

“It feels com­pletely un­rea­son­able that we would al­low a govern­ment that clearly de­clares that we won’t get any in­flu­ence what-so-ever,” said party leader Jim­mie Akesson. “That will of course not hap­pen.”

— Reuters file photo

The Al­liansen party lead­ers An­nie Loof, Ulf Kris­ters­son, Ebba Busch Thor and Jan Bjork­lund at­tend a news con­fer­ence in the Swedish Par­lia­ment in Stock­holm.

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