Sweden finally has a prime minister, more than four months after the parliamentary elections ended.
Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven will return as prime minister after winning the vote from his party and the Green Party in Friday’s vote. The Moderate Party, Christian Democrats and Sweden Democrats all voted against Lofven. Lawmakers from the Center Party, Liberal Party and Left Party abstained from the vote except for one, who voted no.
The final vote was 115 in favor, 153 against and 77 abstained. The opposition needed 175 votes to block Lofven.
This marked the third parliamentary vote on a prime minister candidate after September’s election left the government in a political deadlock. If the fourth vote hadn’t produced a prime minister, the country would have had to call another election.
Lofven lost a vote of no confidence in September, becoming the first leader to be booted from office.
The center-left bloc won 144 seats while the center right block garnered 143.
While far-right nationalism is growing in some countries, “Sweden chooses a different path,” Lofven said. He blocked the nationalist Sweden Democrats Party by striking a deal with other parties. That required working with former rivals, but Lofven said, “You have to decide. You either make compromises, or everyone stays stuck in their corner and we don’t get a government.”
The deal extends Sweden’s temporary migration law for another two years, reintroduces a flight tax and abolishes rent controls on newly built apartments. Stockholm will continue introducing language and civics tests as a requirement for Swedish citizenship.