Sweden PM booted from office in parliament vote of no confidence

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven lost a vote of no confidence Tuesday, becoming the first leader to be booted by such a vote.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven speaks at an election party at the Fargfabriken art hall in Stockholm, Sweden, on September 9. Photo by Claudio Bresciani/EPA-EFE
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven speaks at an election party at the Fargfabriken art hall in Stockholm, Sweden, on September 9. Photo by Claudio Bresciani/EPA-EFE

Lofven’s Social Democratic party lost ground in the Sept. 9 election, allowing a coalition of center-right and center-left parties to rise to power and vote him out.
Swedish Parliament voted 204-142 to remove Lofven as prime minister Tuesday.

“Today, after the election, we’re doing what we promised,” said Ulf Kristersson, leader of of the center-right Alliance opposition. “To the Alliance, it is obvious that Sweden needs a new government.”

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The Sweden Democrats Party, fueled by a wave of nationalism, made significant gains in the election this month.

Lofven, Stockholm’s prime minister since 2014, will remain in office during the transition period.

“It is my wish to continue serving our country as prime minister,” he said. “I want to lead a government that enjoys broad support in Sweden’s Parliament, so that we can leave bloc politics behind and take the country forward.”

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There is just one seat separating the center-left and center-right blocs, meaning it might be a challenge to find a successor for Lofven.

Lawmakers on Tuesday also elected Andreas Norlen as parliament speaker. It will be up to Norlen to lead the proposal for a new prime minister.

If the country fails to name a prime minister after four tries and there’s continued deadlock, Sweden would hold a new election.

ByNicholas Sakelaris