Ending four months of tense negotiations, Sweden’s Social Democratic leader Stefan Löfven has reached a deal with key centrist parties to remain in power. But the move is likely to anger a large number of voters who had demanded change in the election.
The Social Democrats agreed on a deal with the opposition Centre Party and Liberals and its ally, the Greens. On January 12, the Centre Party formally approved the accord while the leadership of the Liberals narrowly endorsed it ahead of a full party vote on Sunday. Löfven will also need backing from the Left Party, which has yet to say how it will vote.
As reported by Bloomberg, Sweden like many other countries has seen large shifts in voter sentiment. The Sweden Democrats, a party with neo-Nazi roots, became the third-biggest party in September’s election, denying either of the two traditional blocs a majority.
Describing the deal as the best available under the circumstances, Centre Party leader Annie Lööf said the key priorities were to end the stalemate and keep the fringe parties from exerting influence. “We choose a government without support from the Sweden Democrats,” she said on Saturday. “The election was a vote on values.”
The agreement means the two small opposition parties will back a Social Democrat and Green Party government, but will evaluate it on an annual basis.
In a separate report, Radio Sweden reported that the draft deal among the Social Democrats, the Greens, the Centre party and the Liberals is 16-pages long and includes 73 points that Löfven would push as prime minister. The list includes instituting a language requirement for people to become Swedish citizens and deregulating rents for tenants in newly constructed buildings.
According to Lööf the deal would mean that neither the Sweden Democrats nor the Left Party would have influence within Löfven’s government.