Sweden’s parliament has voted to give the Social Democrat leader, Stefan Löfven, a second term in office at the head of a new centre-left minority government, ending more than four months of deadlock following an inconclusive election.
The caretaker prime minister will take office on Monday, governing in a coalition with the Green party and with the parliamentary backing of the Centre and Liberal parties, formerly members of the four-party centre-right opposition Alliance.
The 9 September election produced a hung parliament, with the centre-right and centre-left blocs that have dominated Swedish politics for decades each securing about 40% of the vote and separated by a single seat, heralding months of complex coalition talks.
Neither bloc was easily able to form a new government without in some way involving the third-biggest party, the far-right, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, with whom all other parties have refused to cooperate at national level.
“More and more governments are becoming reliant on parties with an anti-democratic agenda,” Löfven said after winning the vote in parliament. “But in Sweden we stand up for democracy, for equality. Sweden has chosen a different path.”
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