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Sweden’s prime minister has unexpectedly announced he will step down within three months, sending the country into fresh political turmoil ahead of elections next year.
Stefan Lofven, who has been in office since 2014, said on Sunday that he would resign as prime minister and leader of the centre-left Social Democrats at the party’s next conference in November.
It’s not easy, but it’s true,” Lovin said. “That is the most important. What is appropriate for the party? What is appropriate for the country? What conditions do I give to my successor?”
He said he wanted the party to have a new leader before elections scheduled for September 2022.
Parliament will have to ratify a new prime minister, with the center-left holding a slim majority in the divided and fractured assembly.
Magdalena Anderson, the finance minister, is the favorite to succeed Leuven.
Löfven, a welder and former union leader, took over the SPD leadership in 2012 after the party’s dismal performance in previous elections.
He led a center-left group to victory in elections two years later, but his legacy is mixed. The Social Democrats, who have dominated Swedish politics for much of the 20th century, retained power in the 2018 elections, but received only 28.3 percent of the vote, its lowest level of support. 110 years.
Leuven dealt with two major political crises during his seven years in office – the 2015 refugee crisis and covid-19 pandemicSweden’s lack of an official lockdown has made it stand out internationally. His tenure was also followed by a Rise in gang violence With almost daily shootings and bombings in the country’s three largest cities, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.
The left wing has a theoretical majority of one party but only by including two parties – the center and the left – who refuse to talk to each other.
Leuven succeeded in clinging to power by trying to placate his coalition partners, while warning him of the dangers of a right-wing government that might need the explicit or tacit support of the Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, who have roots in the neo-Nazi movement.
He was forced to resign In June, after he became the first prime minister to lose a vote of no confidence when ex-Communists of the Left Party moved against him. but he Came back after weeks Because there is no viable alternative.
The Swedish right has become more united after integrating the once pariah Swedish Democrats, but they are one seat away from a majority in Parliament.
Lofven’s resignation raises the possibility of early elections, if his successor is unable to secure parliamentary support for a new government.
But elections scheduled for September 2022 will still need to be held, which means most parties are expected to want to avoid getting two votes within a few months.
Many suggest it will be a turbulent autumn for Swedish politics. . . During the June government crisis, financial markets did not react much,” said analysts at Nordea Bank. books. “It’s possible that the markets won’t react this time either, though [the] Market patience is tested every time new political turmoil arises[s]. ”