Swedish conservative leader asked to form government

File photo was taken on September 9, 2022 Ulf Kristersson, leader of the Moderate Party in Sweden is pictured in a studio prior to a debate with other party leaders, organized SVT in Stockholm, ahead of the general elections on September 11, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

STOCKHOLM —Sweden’s conservative party leader Ulf Kristersson was formally asked on Monday to try to form a government, a week after his right-wing alliance won a narrow election victory.اضافة اعلان

The vote marked a watershed in Swedish politics, with Kristersson’s Moderate Party and two other right-wing parties teaming up for the first time with the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD).

After talks with party leaders, the speaker of Sweden’s parliament, Andreas Norlen, said he had tasked Kristersson with “probing the conditions to form a government that can be tolerated by the parliament”.

Under the Swedish system, a prospective prime minister can only assume office if they control a majority in parliament.

Outgoing Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced her resignation last week after the right-wing bloc won 176 seats — 73 of them going to the nationalist, anti-immigration SD. Andersson’s center-left alliance won 173.

The SD, once shunned as pariahs, emerged as the second largest party in parliament behind Andersson’s Social Democrats, which have dominated Swedish politics since the 1930s.

Norlen said he had not set a deadline for Kristersson to try and form a government.

While the four parties in the right-wing bloc all say they support Kristersson, forming a government is not without obstacles.

The parties are diametrically opposed on multiple issues.

SD leader Jimmie Akesson wants cabinet posts but the Liberals have vowed to block any government that includes the SD.

After a general election in 2018 ended in political stalemate, it took four months until the Social Democrats succeeded in forming a minority government.

Kristersson told a news conference earlier on Monday that negotiations with other parties were going well but declined to speculate when a new government could take power.

“It will take some time but not like four years ago,” he said.

Andersson will lead an interim government until a new prime minister is elected.

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