STOCKHOLM: The Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has resigned one week after he lost a vote of no-confidence. He is the first Swedish prime minister to lose such a motion.
Announcing his resignation, he criticised the move to topple him. He said his government would stay temporarily to handle routine tasks until a new administration was formed.
He lost the confidence motion after the Left Party withdrew its support from his minority government of Social Democratic-Green coalition over a proposed bill to deal with housing shortage. “The Left Party has been treated like a doormat,” leaders of the Left Party had alleged.
Stefan Löfven has asked the Speaker of the Riksdag (the highest decision-making assembly in Sweden) to find the next prime minister. However, Löfven has not given up on coming back.
After thinking over the midsummer weekend about how to resolve the political crisis, Löfven requested on Monday to be dismissed as Prime Minister by the Speaker of the Riksdag.
“It is the most difficult political decision I have made,” he said at his press conference.
The alternative would have been to stay and announce by-elections until the end of September. But according to Löfven, that would not have been the best thing for Sweden.
“My assessment is that the Swedish people do not want an extra election now,” he said.
Löfven warned that a by-election could put the country in a long political uncertainty. In addition, the election result could mean that the difficulty of forming a government persisted.
Former Left-wing leader Gudrun Schyman says that she is not surprised that we have ended up in a government crisis.
There was a political issue that lay there and simmered, it was about the house rents. Then the Left Party took the fight and I think they did the right thing. It could have been like this earlier now it became this question and of course it puts things to the fore.