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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Swedish PM Lofven ousted in parliament no-confidence vote

It is the first time a Swedish prime minister has ever been ousted by a no-confidence motion put forward by the opposition.

Stockholm |
June 21, 2021 2:49:34 pm
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven leaves a meeting at the EU summit, in Brussels, Belgium, July 21, 2020. (Reuters)

Sweden’s parliament voted to oust Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in a no-confidence motion on Monday, June 21, giving the Social Democrat leader a week to either resign and hand the speaker the job of finding a new government, or call a snap election.

The nationalist Sweden Democrats had seized the chance to call the vote last week after the formerly communist Left Party withdrew its support for center-left government over a plan to ease rent controls for new-build apartments.

Lofven’s shaky minority coalition with the Green Party has relied on support in parliament from two small center-right parties and the Left Party since a tight election in 2018.

Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, centre, before a confidence vote, with Minister for Gender Equality and Housing Marta Stenevi, left, and Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson, right, as they arrive at the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm, Sweden, Monday June 21, 2021. (AP)

With parliament deadlocked, it is not clear to whom the speaker could turn to form a new administration, while opinion polls suggest the center-left and center-right blocs are evenly balanced, meaning an snap election might not bring clarity.

A new government – or a caretaker regime – would only sit until a general election scheduled for September next year. It is the first time a Swedish prime minister has ever been ousted by a no-confidence motion put forward by the opposition.

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