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Post-Election Upheaval in Swedish Politics by Sven R. Larson

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Post-Election Upheaval in Swedish Politics

After losing the parliamentary election last Sunday, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, a democratic socialist, has handed in her resignation to the speaker of the parliament. State broadcaster SVT reports:

At 11:00 Thursday a.m., Magdalena Andersson met with the speaker to hand in her resignation as prime minister. … Andersson explained that she now will act in such a way for an orderly transfer of power to take place, and says she will congratulate [center-right coalition leader] Ulf Kristersson the day he becomes prime minister.

In the final vote tally, Mr. Kristersson’s four-party coalition eventually won 176 of the 349 seats in the Riksdag. His own party, the moderates, earned 68 seats, five seats less than the conservative nationalist Swedish Democrats, their coalition partner. This marks the first election in four decades when the moderates are not the largest non-socialist party in the Riksdag.

Ms. Andersson’s social democrats gained seven seats and remained the largest party in the parliament. Among their coalition partners, the center party lost seven of their 31 seats. This drastic decline, combined with the fact that the leftist coalition lost the election, has led the center party chairwoman Annie Lööf to hand in her resignation

Officially, Ms. Lööf resigns due to the stress related to an alleged assassination attempt this past summer. She also blames “hateful rhetoric” during the election campaign. Unofficial sources, however, suggest that many members and activists within the center party, which formerly cooperated with Mr. Kristersson’s right-leaning coalition, want a return to conservative-leaning values and policies. 

A leadership shift may also be underway in the left party (former communists), also a member of Ms. Andersson’s coalition. With the party losing four of its 28 seats in parliament, voices are being heard within the party that Ms. Nooshi Dadgostar, the left’s young, firebrand chairwoman, should resign.

Mr. Kristersson will start his work to form a new government next week.

Sven R. Larson is a political economist and author. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from Roskilde University, Denmark. Originally from Sweden, he lives in America where for the past 16 years he has worked in politics and public policy. He has written several books, including Democracy or Socialism: The Fateful Question for America in 2024.