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Sweden: Socialist PM steps down after electoral defeat, right wing celebrates

Sweden’s Social Democrat Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson, accepted defeat on Wednesday after a close-fought election, handing the four-party right-wing opposition bloc a victory and first go at forming a new government.

A handful of votes remain to be counted, but Ms Andersson, who became Sweden’s first woman Prime Minister last year, said the results showed the right bloc had won.

“In parliament, they have a one or two seat advantage… It is a thin majority, but a majority,” she told a news conference before handing in her resignation to the speaker of parliament on Thursday, paving the way for a change of government.

BREAKING:

Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson resigns after conceding defeat in the election.

The center-right coalition defeated the center-left and will have 176 MPs in parliament while the opposition will have 173. pic.twitter.com/9JRVnlC45I

— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) September 14, 2022
The Moderates, Sweden Democrats, Christian Democrats and Liberals had held a one-seat lead after Sunday’s election but looked like getting 176 seats in the 349-seat parliament to the centre-left’s 173 seats, according to the latest figures from the election authority.

The election marks a watershed in Swedish politics with the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, shunned by all the major parties when they first entered parliament in 2010, on the threshold of gaining influence over government policy.

The final results still have to be officially confirmed, probably by the weekend.

Moderates’ leader ready to form a new gov’t

Ulf Kristersson, the leader of the Swedish Moderate party, said he was the right bloc’s candidate to be Prime Minister and was ready to form a new government.

Sweden's right-wing opposition leads election as 98% of districts counted https://t.co/n3XzdviNjl pic.twitter.com/NUOuFGG1en

— Reuters (@Reuters) September 14, 2022
“The definite result must be established. If we then have the parliamentary prerequisites, I will gather my side of the political aisle to cooperate. I will be very humble in that task but I am ready to do all I can to form a new, stable and vigorous government for the whole of Sweden and all its citizens,” he said.

Sweden, in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, could be heading for recession next year.


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