Sweden’s centre-right Moderates leader asked to try and form government

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The head of Sweden’s centre-right opposition Moderates party, Ulf Kristersson, was tasked with trying to form a new coalition government a day after prime minister Stefan Lofven resigned following a no-confidence vote last week.

Parliament speaker Andreas Norlen earlier held a first round of consultations with all party leaders, starting with Mr Lofven who heads the Social Democratic Party, Sweden’s largest political group.

Mr Norlen said he asked Mr Kristersson to try to form a government because he is the leader of the largest in the group of parties that unseated Mr Lofven.

Mr Kristersson has until Friday to try to find support for a government, Mr Norlen said, adding that the deadline could be extended.

If he fails, Mr Norlen will ask another politician to head the process.

Sweden’s Social Democratic prime minister Stefan Lofven  (Stina Stjernkvist/AP)
Sweden’s Social Democratic prime minister Stefan Lofven (Stina Stjernkvist/AP)

The motion was called by the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats party.

But it ultimately succeeded because a government ally had withdrawn its support for Mr Lofven’s administration over proposed legislation to tackle a housing shortage.

Mr Lofven, a 63-year-old former welder, will remain caretaker prime minister until a new government has been found.

His party holds 100 of parliament’s 349 seats.

Mr Lofven had headed a minority government composed of a Social Democratic-Green coalition.

None of the parties in parliament want to cooperate with the Sweden Democrats.

Sweden’s next general elections are currently set for September 11 2022.

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