Swedish cen­tre-right split scup­pers plan for mi­nor­ity govt

Times of Oman - - WORLD -

STOCK­HOLM: An at­tempt by the leader of Swe­den’s Mod­er­ate party to break the po­lit­i­cal dead­lock af­ter Septem­ber’s election looked set to fail on Satur­day as two par­ties in his cen­tre-right bloc said they would not sup­port him in form­ing a mi­nor­ity govern­ment.

Nei­ther the Al­liance bloc headed by Moder­ates’ leader Ulf Kris­ters­son - nor a group­ing of cen­tre-left par­ties won enough votes in the election on Septem­ber 9 to form a ma­jor­ity and both have ruled out a deal with the anti-im­mi­gra­tion Swe­den Democrats, who hold the bal­ance of power.

Kris­ters­son, tasked to try to form a new govern­ment, said on Fri­day he was pre­pared to do so without all the par­ties in the four­party Al­liance bloc.

But Lib­eral leader Jan Bjork­lund - a mem­ber of the Al­liance - said he would not back a govern­ment of only the Moder­ates and Chris­tian Democrats, while Cen­tre Party leader An­nie Loof - also in the Al­liance - said all four par­ties had to be part of a deal.

“A Moder­ates and Chris­tian Demo­crat govern­ment would be a weak govern­ment that risks end­ing up in a snap election and giv­ing power to the Swe­den Democrats,” Bjork­lund told a press con­fer­ence.

“We will never be part of a govern­ment which needs sup­port from the Swe­den Democrats,” he added.

All the main­stream par­ties in Swe­den have re­fused to have any deal­ings with the Swe­den Demo­crat party, which has roots in the white su­prem­a­cist fringe.

It has re­fused to sup­port any govern­ment that does not give it a say in pol­icy.

Back to square one

The fail­ure of Kris­ters­son’s pro­posal puts the process of form­ing a govern­ment back to square one.

It could also spell the end of the Al­liance, formed in 2004 to chal­lenge the po­lit­i­cal dom­i­na­tion of the So­cial Democrats. “You can­not in­ter­pret this in any other way than that the Al­liance is now fin­ished,” Swe­den Demo­crat leader Jim­mie Akesson told daily Ex­pressen.

Both Bjork­lund and Loof want the So­cial Democrats to sup­port an Al­liance govern­ment, some­thing they have re­jected.

“We still want an Al­liance govern­ment but that needs co­op­er­a­tion across the (po­lit­i­cal di­vide), oth­er­wise that will give power to the Swe­den Democrats,” Loof told re­porters on Satur­day.

Kris­ters­son said he would meet the speaker of par­lia­ment on Sun­day.

The ba­ton is likely to pass next to Ste­fan Lofven, the leader of the So­cial Democrats and cur­rent care­taker prime min­is­ter. He lost a no-con­fi­dence vote in Par­lia­ment on Septem­ber 25.

The speaker has four at­tempts to find a prime min­is­ter ac­cept­able to par­lia­ment or there will be fresh elec­tions.

– Reuters

SPELL­ING OUT: Jan Bjork­lund, Swe­den’s Lib­eral Party leader, de­liv­ers a news con­fer­ence in Stock­holm, Swe­den..

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