Swedish parliament ousts PM Lofven in vote of no-confidence

Swedish parliament ousts PM Lofven in vote of no-confidence

The Swedish prime minister, Stefan Löfven, will step down after losing a mandatory confidence vote in parliament, but with neither major political bloc holding a majority it remained unclear who will form the next government.

Mr Lovfen said: "If the Alliance chooses to govern as the smaller bloc they will be totally dependent on the Sweden Democrats".

Prime Minister and Social Democratic Party leader Stefan Lofven attends a news conference at the government headquarters Rosenbad in Stockholm, Sweden September 12, 2018.

Sweden, like most of Europe, has been hit by an influx of asylum seekers, who are fleeing from the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.

But lacking a majority, he needs support either from the Sweden Democrats, with roots in the white supremacist fringe, or the centre left.

Lofven hopes that the aversion the Centre and Liberal parties have for the Sweden Democrats will outweigh the political differences they have with his Social Democrats.

Swedish Parliament voted 204-142 to remove Lofven as prime minister Tuesday.

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Norlen is widely expected to task Kristersson with the job, but the Alliance does not hold a majority in parliament and has so far ruled out any collaboration with the far-right anti-immigration Sweden Democrats.

The speaker of parliament, Andreas Norlen, will begin talks on Thursday with the leaders of the eight parties represented in parliament to determine who is best placed to form the next government.

"I want to lead a government that has broader support in the country's parliament and that allows us to leave stalemate of bloc politics", Lofven said after the no-confidence vote.

The Sweden Democrat leader, Jimmie Åkesson, repeated on Tuesday that his party would bring down any government that did not give it a say on immigration, healthcare, pensions and crime policy.

"Today, after the election, we're doing what we promised", said Ulf Kristersson, leader of of the center-right Alliance opposition. "But, I am very conscious of the fact that the situation in parliament is very complex", he said.

The Social Democrats are the country's biggest party and will "never be a support party", Lofven reiterated Tuesday.

The speaker has four chances to propose a candidate for prime minister in parliament, but there is no fixed deadline. After that, new elections have to be called.

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