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Saturday 23 September 2023 Dublin: 14°C
Alamy Stock Photo
# Stockholm
Swedish prime minister to resign as right and far-right bloc appears set to win election
Never before has a Swedish government relied on the support of the anti-immigration and nationalist Sweden Democrats.

SWEDISH PRIME MINISTER Magdalena Andersson has announced that she plans to resign as an unprecedented right-wing and far-right bloc appears on course to win the general election.

During a press conference, Andersson said that although the last votes were still being counted, it was clear the right would win a majority of seats “so tomorrow I will hand in my resignation as prime minister”.

Never before has a Swedish government relied on the support of the anti-immigration and nationalist Sweden Democrats party.

Outgoing Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson’s Social Democrats have dominated Swedish politics since the 1930s.

‘All eyes’ watching

In Stockholm, dozens of people were seen sitting at long tables at City Hall today opening envelopes with ballots, an AFP journalist reported.

“All eyes are on the Riksdag, the parliament’s, votes,” counter Eva Tofvesson Redz, 55, told AFP.

“We are very careful every time we do this” but this time “there is a lot of media attention, there is a lot of political attention on this, so we are making sure that we do a good job”, she added.

In the most widely expected scenario of a right-wing victory, the thorny question remained of whether the far-right would be given cabinet posts.

The Sweden Democrats rose up out of neo-Nazi groups and the “Keep Sweden Swedish” movement in the early 1990s, entering parliament in 2010 with 5.7% of votes.

Long shunned as “pariahs” on the political scene, the party has registered strong growth in each subsequent election as it made efforts to clean up its image.

Its hardline stance on soaring gang shootings and integration set the tone in this year’s election.

The party has said it wants to be in government, but its three allies — the Moderates, Christian Democrats and Liberals — are reluctant to agree to that.

Instead, the far right would most likely provide informal support in parliament to the government, according to political analysts.

A right-wing government would also be very fragile, with the four parties fiercely opposed on a number of issues, especially the Liberals and Sweden Democrats.

The man likely to be Sweden’s next prime minister, Ulf Kristersson of the Moderates — who was the first party leader to welcome the far right in from the cold in 2019 — would therefore struggle to hold his majority together.

“This is a difficult parliamentary situation”, Gilljam said, pointing to there being just one seat’s difference between those held so far by the right-wing bloc and their leftist rivals.

“And then you have parties that don’t like each other, the Sweden Democrats and the Liberals” in the same right-wing bloc, he added.

© AFP 2022

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