Tuesday, July 5

Two motions of no confidence threaten the continuity of the Swedish Government

Correspondent in Berlin



One motion from the extreme left and one from the extreme right threaten the continuity of the Swedish red-green government, which has ruled in the minority since January 2019 and could fall victim to its bill to regulate rents. The Left Party had given a 48-hour ultimatum to modify the project to which the government has not reacted, so it has begun to seek support for a motion of no confidence. The far-right formation Social Democrats of Sweden (SD), has preferred to go ahead and has already presented its own motion.

The Social Democrat Stefan Löfven, allied with centrists and liberals and supported from outside by ex-comuns, is determined to carry out a liberal reform to regulate rental prices, an issue that he defended during the campaign and that he later agreed to during the three long months of negotiations to form a government. It is also carrying out modifications in the labor hiring model that the Left Party considers “crosses red lines.” The ex-communists demand the withdrawal of the bill, which allows the rental price to be agreed directly between the landlord and the tenant in the case of new properties, or through the Tenants Association and, last Tuesday, they announced a 48-hour ultimatum so that their demands were satisfied, under threat of withdrawing their external parliamentary support and presenting a motion of censure that would put an end to this government.

Löfven hastily summoned the representatives of the tenants and the owners, to try to smooth the bill as far as possible, but for the ex-communist leader Nooshi Dadgostar, “that is not enough”. «The deadline that we had set has expired, we no longer trust the head of government. Someone must defend the interests of Swedish tenants, so we began from this moment to seek support for the motion of censure, “he said. It has 27 deputies and would need 8 more for its motion to succeed in the vote. It has started talks with conservatives and Christian Democrats, favorable to the new rent law but interested in displacing Löfven from the government, but even before the first meetings take place, the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD) party has presented its own motion of confidence.

SD it is the third largest parliamentary force in Sweden and has 62 deputies. His spokesman, Henrik Vinge, recalled that “currently there is a majority in Parliament that wants to overthrow the government”, inviting the rest of the opponents to second his initiative, but Dadgostar verbally resists voting on the same motion as the far-right, with which no other political party maintains parliamentary relations. The important thing here is not partisan strategies, but rather stopping a legal reform in time that will be very negative for the country. If either motion is successful, Löfven would be forced to resign and call early elections.

There is only one week left until the Riksdag assembly begins its summer vacation and the motion is scheduled for next Monday. The support of the conservative Moderate Party and the Christian Democratic Party would add 182 votes in total, compared to 116 who would vote against the Social Democrats and the Greens. “This government should never have assumed its functions,” declared the leader of the Moderate Party, Ulf Kristerssons, implying that vote in favor of one or the other motion, “We were against when they took power and we are still against now.”

The Swedish prime minister has the power to call elections before suffering an imminent parliamentary defeat and the president of the parliament, Andreas Norlén, could initiate consultations with the parties and re-entrust Löfven with the formation of a new government, but the prime minister already advance that he will wait for the result of the vote to then “think that it is the best for Sweden”, warning that “launching the country right now into a political crisis, in the situation we are experiencing, is irresponsible.

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