Sweden conservatives forming new gov’t

Two parliamentary seats make right parties the new majority

(FILES) In this file photo 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, organised SVT in Stockholm, ahead of the general elections on September 11, 2022, – Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson on on September 14, 2022 announced that she would resign after an unprecedented right-wing and far-right bloc appeared on course to win the general election. (Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP)

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AFP) — The leader of Sweden’s conservatives, Ulf Kristersson, was working to form a new government on Thursday after a narrow election win by a coalition of right and far-right parties.

“I now begin the work of forming a new and strong government,” Kristersson said on Wednesday as vote tallies were being finalized. “Now we will restore order in Sweden!”

With 176 seats — 73 of them going to the far-right Sweden Democrats — the four-party coalition will have a slim majority over the left, which won 173, according to a tally by the country’s elections authority that includes 99.9 percent of voting offices.

Sunday’s election was so close that it took until Wednesday for tens of thousands of votes from abroad and those cast in advance to be counted to validate the results.

Acknowledging her camp’s defeat on Wednesday, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced that she would resign.

Speaking at a press conference, Andersson, leader of the Social Democrats, noted that the right would enjoy a “narrow majority, but a majority nonetheless.”

“So tomorrow I will hand in my resignation as prime minister, and the responsibility for the continued process will go to the speaker,” Andersson said.

Never before has a Swedish government relied on the support of the anti-immigration and nationalist Sweden Democrats, who became the big winners of the vote.

With the vast majority of votes counted, the party emerged as Sweden’s second largest behind the Social Democrats, who have dominated Swedish politics since the 1930s.

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