Swedish PM Stefan Lofven resigns after losing no confidence vote

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven resigned on Monday, one week after he lost a vote of no confidence, June 21, handing the speaker of parliament the job of finding a new premier.

Lofven had been given a deadline of midnight on Monday to either step down or call a snap election after losing the June 21 confidence vote when the Left Party withdrew its support. He had hoped to find fresh backing in parliament to secure his reappointment.

He told a press conference a snap election was "not what is best for Sweden," pointing to the difficult situation the Covid-19 pandemic posed, coupled with the fact that the next general election is a year away.

Lofven, a 63-year-old former welder and union leader with a boxer's square build and nose, led the Swedish left back to power in 2014 and then stuck to power by bringing his party closer to the centre following the 2018 elections.

At the center of a controversy that sparked the Left Party to lose confidence and vote against Lofven are plans to deregulate Sweden's housing market because of accelerating price increases that took place during the pandemic.

Sweden has strict regulations on rents aimed at maintaining affordable prices in larger cities.

Speaker Andreas Norlen will now have up to four attempts to find a new prime minister with enough backing from lawmakers. If he fails, a snap election must be called, little more than a year ahead of scheduled polls in September 2022.

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Free Press Journal