Free Press Journal

Deadlock in Sweden as far-right gains


Stockholm : Sweden faced political deadlock on Monday after the far-right made gains in legislative elections that left the question of who will form the next government up in the air. The prime minister is usually the leader of the party with the most votes, but Sweden’s fragmented political landscape after Sunday’s election makes it impossible to predict who will form the next government.

As expected, neither the centre-left nor the centre-right bloc obtained a majority. The far-right Sweden Democrats solidified their position as third-biggest party and kingmaker, albeit with a lower score than they had expected. Far-right parties have gained strength in elections in recent years in several European countries, including Germany and Italy.

Politicians in Sweden will now “need a lot of imagination” to form a government, daily Svenska Dagbladet wrote. “However the dramatic bloc battle plays out, it looks like it will be difficult for Sweden to have a functioning government,” paper of reference Dagens Nyheter wrote in an editorial.

Social Democratic PM Stefan Lofven’s “red-green” left bloc enjoys a razor-thin one-seat lead over the centre-right opposition Alliance. Fewer than 30,000 votes separate the blocs and 2,00,000 ballots have yet to be counted, including votes cast in advance and abroad. Social Democrats won 28.4% votes, down 2.8 points from the 2014 poll, worst in a century. “Nevertheless, voters made Social Democrats Sweden’s biggest party,” Lofven said, extending an invitation to the Opposition to break the deadlock.