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Sweden Gets New Prime Minister Four Months After General Elections


Sweden's incumbent prime minister Stefan Löfven has been voted for by the country's parliament as the new prime minister, more than four months after the country's general elections. The latter were held on September 9, 2018.

In a parliamentary voting session aired live by SVT News on the morning of January 18, 2019, on a proposal by the speaker, of Mr Löfven as a new prime minister, 153 members of parliament voted against the proposal. That implied victory for Mr Löfven as new prime minister because votes against were fewer than 50% of the total number of members of the Swedish parliament.

This was the third parliamentary voting session proposed by the speaker of the parliament, for prime ministerial post after the country's general elections, and the second time Mr Löfven has been proposed for the post. In his first instance, Mr Löfven was voted out by the same parliament.

Success of Mr Löfven on this occasion to get adequate parliamentary support as the new prime minister of Sweden is inherent in his party Social Democrats' political partnership with its rivals the Centre Party and the Liberal Party. The two parties voted against Mr Löfven on the first occasion.

While the new political partnership seems to has not bothered Social Democrats' key allies the Green Party alias Miljö partiet, their other allies the Left Party alias Vänsterpartiet was quite angered especially because of what the see as non-inclusiveness policies of the Centre and Liberal parties. The party, however, decided to support Mr Löfven but with a threat they will thrive to bring down the forthcoming coalition government if the party's values pertaining to ensuring inclusiveness and radical sustainable environment are threatened.

Without the support of the Centre and Liberal parties, Stefan Löfven stood no chance of winning the parliamentary poll, even with continued loyalty of the Green Party and Left Party. Given the vast philosophical differences in political orientation between the Social Democrats and the Centre and Liberal parties, the new political partnership could therefore been seen as a desperate and opportunistic joint political manoeuvre by the three parties in order to access or regain power. The three parties in rationalizing their unusual partnership, argued it is geared towards curtailing the influence the third largest party in Sweden, Sweden Democrats, in Swedish politics. Whether that is possible or even makes sense is debatable.

The above sort of political marriage of convenience is unlikely to last, according to several quarters. In a recent public opinion poll, 50% of the people of Sweden are said to believe the forthcoming government that will be based on the new political partnership will collapse before the end of its four year mandate period.

The queer political partnership is also likely to be catastrophic to the Social Democrats, the Centre party and the Liberal Party in the long run, while probably been a blessing in disguise to Sweden Democrats and even the Moderate Party.

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