Swedish PM facing defeat in no-confidence vote on Monday
Stefan Lofven was within hours of becoming the first Swedish prime minister to lose a vote of no confidence on Sunday, after failing in a last ditch effort to gain majority support in parliament for the proposed rent reforms.
The vote was called last week for Monday by anti-immigration Swedish Democrats, after the Left Party, which Lofven relies on to pass legislation, withdrew its support for its plan to liberalize Sweden’s rigid system of rent control.
Lofven’s centrist Social Democrats have led a fragile minority government since inconclusive elections in 2018, reaching a deal on a sweeping reform agenda with two center-right parties.
In one of the many concessions to the Liberals and the Center Party, he agreed to submit a proposal to parliament in the fall to abolish collective bargaining for rents for newly built apartments. L5N2O01LC
Lofven tried to soften the reform on Sunday by inviting landlords and tenant organizations to negotiations, but the Left Party called the move a “political theater”.
“Following the advice we received today, the Left Party will vote ‘red’ tomorrow against Stefan Lofven,” its leader Nooshi Dadgostar said at a press conference.
If, as seems almost certain, Lofven loses Monday’s vote, he can either step down and let the president task lawmakers with trying to form a new government, or call a snap election, which did not happen in Sweden since 1958.
Either way, the national elections scheduled for September next year would go ahead as planned.
Lofven, who took four months to form a government after the 2018 election, called the Left Party’s reaction irresponsible.
“We are now waiting for the other political parties to be ready to be responsible and not to plunge Sweden into a political crisis,” he told a press conference.
Economists said they did not expect political uncertainty to weigh on the Swedish economy given the strict fiscal rules under which the country operates.