The Swedish Prime Minister, the Social Democrat Stefan Lofven, lost the confidence of Parliament on Monday, and has a week to present its resignation or call early elections.
The motion of censure, which originated last week, when the Left Party decided to withdraw the specific support it gave to the Executive, obtained an absolute majority of 181 out of 349 deputies. To overthrow the government, the former communist party aligned itself with the right-wing formations, Conservative Party of the Moderatesand Christian Democrats, and the far-right Sweden Democrats.
After eleven unsuccessful motions of no confidence in the politics of this Scandinavian country, Lofven, who distinguished himself by his ability to survive political crises since his arrival in office on October 3, 2014, became the first head of government dismissed by a vote of confidence.
“It is the interest of the country that is at stake,” said Löfven at a press conference after his dismissal was known, without specifying if he will leave the position acting prime minister. The former trade unionist now has one week to announce snap elections or resign.
New Head of Government
If the outgoing prime minister resigned, the president of Parliament would be tasked with opening negotiations with a party to find a new head of government, who will also could be lofven again in case of a new political agreement, analysts emphasize.
Due to a subtlety in the Swedish Constitution, in the event of early elections, they would be added to the scrutiny planned in September 2022, which would mean two legislative elections in just over a year.
“For a long time, the minority government seemed to be able to hold out until the end of the term, but the inherent differences within the Executive were ultimately too great,” he told AFP Mats Knutson, political analyst for Swedish public television.
Dissenting broke out on Thursday when the Left Party (Vänsterpartiet) announced their intention to vote in favor of the motion of no confidence, despite the fact that it meant joining their votes with those of the extreme right of the SD.
The reason: a project, still preliminary, on a reform of the rental prices, something that the left refuses to touch, considering it a pillar of the Swedish social model. The proposal, which is contained in the government agreement called “January” and created in early 2019, provides for free rents for new construction and, therefore, more expensive rents.
Already in the presentation of the agreement, “many commentators had stressed that the liberalization of the housing market was a time bomb,” he said. Anders Sannerstedt, political scientist at the University of Lund.
Last-minute attempts to prevent it were in vain: on Sunday, the government sought a maneuver by proposing to open negotiations with landlord organizations. But, the head of the latter, Nooshi Dadgostar, He expressed his rejection when considering the reversal of insufficient.
«My impression is that there is a great lack of sense of commitment when you cannot give up only one point to avoid a government crisis, “he said this Monday morning, shortly before the vote. “Putting Sweden in a serious political crisis right now is not what our country needs,” argued Lofven. His center-left government, in force since January 2019, after four months of negotiations, brings together the Social Democrats and the Greens.
To get a majority, the ex-unionist reached an agreement with two other matches -the Center Party and the Liberals- with the less clear support of the Left Party. The latter is fond of giving ultimatums to the Government, in particular to protest against the relaxation of layoffs, but he was limited to that until dad like he took office in October, hardening his tone.
“I think (Lofven) will resign,” anticipates Anders Sannerstedt, political scientist at the University of Lund. According to the expert, “nobody wants additional elections” and “the Social Democrats would lose many votes, according to the latest polls.” In my opinion, Lofven expects resign and then come back, like a phoenix rising from its ashes. And it could be very successful.
So does his colleague at the University of Gothenburg, Jonas Hinnfors, for whom the prime minister “is a very good negotiator.” “As the distribution of seats remains the same, it is most likely that Lofven come back“, Explain.
Another option is that the leader of the Moderates, Ulf Kristersson, who has opened the door in recent months to negotiate with the Sweden Democrats, is in charge of forming a majority.