Swedish right to power as PM accepts electoral defeat

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STOCKHOLM, Sep 14 (Reuters) – The head of Sweden’s Moderate Party, Ulf Christerson, said on Wednesday that he would begin work on forming a new government after Prime Minister Magdalena Andersen acknowledged his Social Democrats’ defeat at the weekend’s general election. Had gone.

Moderates, Sweden Democrats, Christian Democrats and Liberals are likely to get 176 seats in the 349-seat parliament from the centre-left’s 173 seats, according to the latest figures from the election authority. read more

Counting of the elective votes is yet to take place, but the result is unlikely to change significantly.

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“I will now begin work to form a new government that can get the job done,” Christerson said in a video on his Instagram account.

The election marks a watershed in Swedish politics, with the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, a party with roots in the white supremacist fringe, on the threshold of gaining influence over government policy. read more

As the country’s second-largest party, the success of the party that took power from Christerson Moderates has raised fears that Sweden’s tolerant and inclusive politics are a thing of the past.

His mantra, however, is that Sweden’s evils – especially mass crimes – are the result of decades of overly liberal immigration policies, which have hit home with many voters.

Christerson said he would form a government “for Sweden and for all citizens”.

“There is great despair in society, there is fear of violence, there is concern about the economy, the world is very uncertain and political polarization has become too great in Sweden,” he said. “So my message is that I want to unite, not divide.”

Although Kristerson’s party is small, Sweden’s Democrat leader Jimmy Axon may not get the wide support from the authority needed to oust the Social Democrats.

Kristerson is likely to try to form a government with the Christian Democrats and rely on support in parliament from the Sweden Democrats and Liberals.

anxiety

Prime Minister Andersen conceded defeat, but warned that many Swedes were concerned about the electoral success of the Swedish Democrats.

“I see your concern and I share it”, she said.

The Swedish Democrats aim to make Sweden the strictest EU immigration policy, including legislation that would make it possible to deny asylum seekers on religious or LGBTQ grounds.

The party wants to reduce economic benefits for immigrants and give more powers to the police, including areas in disturbed areas, allowing searches without a solid suspicion of crime.

Sweden’s Democrats are set to win 20.6% of the vote against 19.1% for the Moderates. The Social Democrats would be at 30.4%.

Commanding only a meager majority, Christerson faces many challenges, not least the fact of his party’s junior position.

Creating an administration and agreeing on a budget will not be easy as the Liberals and Sweden Democrats refuse to serve together or separately in government and differ on many policies.

“Sweden is now going to have an administration that is only one or two parliamentary seats away from a government crisis,” Andersen said.

He said the door was open to Kristerson if he wanted to reconsider his alliance with the Sweden Democrats.

In addition, Sweden is in the midst of a livelihood crisis and could be headed for a recession next year.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has destabilized the Baltic region – Sweden’s backyard – and uncertainty remains whether Turkey will eventually agree to Stockholm’s application for NATO membership. read more

Measures to address climate change and long-term energy policy also need to be rolled out, while plugging loopholes in the welfare system exposed by the pandemic and funding a planned increase in defense spending. read more

The result is still to be confirmed officially, probably by the weekend.

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Reporting by Simon Johnson and Anna Ringstrom Editing by Terje Solsvik, Mark Potter and Jonathan Otis

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principals.

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