Saturday 7/24/21
SWEDEN

Stefan Lofven elected Swedish prime minister again

The 63-year-old Lofven, a Social Democrat, had served as prime minister since 2014
FILED - Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven speaks during a press conference on the sidelines of the day two of the EU Summit on Brexit at the European Union headquarters. Lofven will start a visit to South Korea on 18 December 2019. Photo: -/European Council/dpa - ATTENTION: editorial use only and only if the credit mentioned above is referenced in full
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven speaks during a press conference at the European Union headquarters. Photo: -/European Council/dpa.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven was elected prime minister again on Wednesday, gaining sufficient backing in a parliamentary vote nine days after he stepped down after losing a confidence vote.

A total of 173 lawmakers voted against him while 116 voted in favour of the 63-year-old politician and 60 abstained.

In the 349-seat parliament, 175 votes against Lofven would have been needed to bar his way back to the premiership.

Lofven now wants to form a minority government, joining once again with his Social Democrats and the Greens. It is expected that he will present his new Cabinet on Friday.

Lofven's new government has a very slim majority that depends on the support of the Left Party and the Centre Party, which both abstained during Wednesday's vote.

Things could get tricky again quickly for Lofven, however, as negotiations loom for the next state budget in autumn. The Centre, the Left and the Greens tend to disagree on a number of issues.

A dispute with the Left Party

Lofven resigned last week after losing a vote of no confidence in parliament in a dispute with the Left Party over rent controls for new buildings.

The leader of the Moderate Party, Ulf Kristersson, had a first go at forming a government but failed, leaving Lofven to take up the reins again.

It was the first time that a Swedish prime minister had been brought down by such a vote. The 63-year-old Lofven, a Social Democrat, had served as prime minister since 2014.

Sweden's next regular elections are scheduled in September 2022.

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