Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Lofven resigned on Monday, a week after being ousted by a vote of no confidence, and left it to the Speaker of Parliament to try to find a new head of government.
The Social Democratic leader, who had until Monday to announce his decision, ruled out the alternative option of calling early elections.
“One year before the scheduled elections, taking into account the exceptional situation in which the country finds itself, with a pandemic and the challenges that this would entail, early elections are not the best for Sweden”, declared Lofven at a press conference.
“For this reason, I have asked the Speaker of the House to be removed from my duties as Prime Minister,” he added.
Lofven, who became the first Swedish head of government to lose a vote of no confidence, nevertheless assured that he was ready to return to his position in the field of new parliamentary negotiations.
On a practical level, his government is currently limited to following pending issues.
Lofven, a 63-year-old former welder and union leader, brought the Swedish left back to power in 2014 and managed to hold on by bringing his party closer to the center-right in the 2018 elections.
This led him to lose the support of the Left Party.
The motion of no confidence was filed by the far-right Sweden Democrats after the Left Party announced that it could file it in protest against a plan to reduce rent control.
The conservative Moderate Party and the Christian Democrats backed the motion, passed by 181 votes, out of 349 seats.
After 11 motions of no confidence in Sweden’s modern political history, Lofven set a precedent, even though he had shown the ability to survive various political crises.
Up to now, Lofven has failed to placate the Left Party, with 27 seats, which rejects the proposal for “rental markets” that would allow apartment owners to freely set rental prices, something that the left considers a threat to the rights of residents. tenants.
The negotiation process that opens this Monday can be slow: the parliamentary president, Andreas Norlen, has to consult each party before proposing a new head of government.
That could open the doors for Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson to take office, according to Patrik Kronqvist, a columnist for the daily Expressen.
The parliamentary leader would have to have the support of 175 legislators for whoever he chooses. But the current composition of Parliament does not help to easily reach a majority.
If the objective is not achieved, the possibility of early elections would have to be considered again, which would be the first advanced elections in the country since 1958.
According to an Ipsos poll published last week, the right and far right would reach a slight parliamentary majority in a general election.