Swedish parliament rejects proposed government
STOCKHOLM — Over two months after elections that left Sweden in political limbo, lawmakers on Wednesday rejected a proposed minority coalition led by the second-largest party, the first time in Swedish history that a proposal for a new prime minister has been defeated.
Parliament voted by 195 votes to 154 to reject the Speaker’s plan for a coalition of the center-right Moderates and the small Christian Democrats, with Moderates leader Ulf Kristersson as prime minister.
Those opposing the coalition said it would give influence to the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats — the third-largest party but considered a pariah by many — because the government would be dependent on that party’s support.
Wednesday’s vote was the first of a possible four before Speaker Andreas Norlen must call new elections.
It was the first time that a candidate for prime minister has been rejected by the 349-seat Riksdagen.
Norlen said he would continue talks with party leaders on Thursday.
The September election produced a hung parliament with the left-leaning side and the center-right bloc securing about 40 percent of the vote each, leaving neither with a majority and paving the way for months of uncertainty and complex coalition talks.