Sweden’s prime minister Stefan Lofven resigned following a no-confidence vote Monday. The Social Democrat leader has a week to resign and hand the speaker the job of finding a new government or call a snap election.
The no-confidence motion, which required 175 votes in the 349-seat parliament to pass, was supported by 181 Swedish MPs. The nationalist Sweden Democrats had seized the chance to call the vote after the formerly communist Left Party withdrew support for the centrist government over a plan to ease rent controls for new-build apartments.
According to the Democrat leader, Jimmie Akesson, the Swedish government led by Lofven was harmful and historically weak.
“It should never have come into power,” MP Akesson added.
Lofven becomes the first PM ousted by a no-confidence motion
The 63-year-old Lofven is the first Swedish head of the Cabinet minister who was ousted by a no-confidence motion put forward by the opposition. The Left Party blamed Mr Lofven for triggering the crisis.
“It is not the Left Party that has given up on the Social Democrat government, it is the Social Democrat government that has given up on the Left Party and the Swedish people,” Left Party leader Nooshi Dadgostar said.
With parliament deadlocked, it is not clear to whom the speaker might turn to form a new government if Mr Lofven resigns. Opinion polls suggest the centre-left and centre-right blocs are evenly balanced, so a snap election might not bring clarity either.
Commenting on the no-confidence step, MP Dadgostar said that even though her party had voted against PM, it would never help “a right-wing nationalist government” take power.