Sweden, the government disheartened for the first time. Clash over the law to liberalize rents
Sweden’s prime minister was disheartened by parliament for the first time in the country’s history after a crisis over a proposal to liberalize rents. Social Democrat Stefan Löfven, who has headed the government since 2014 with the support of minority coalitions, now has a week to step down or call the first early elections since 1958.
The no-confidence motion, passed with 181 votes in favor of the 175 needed, was tabled by the right-wing party of the Swedish Democrats after the Left Party announced last week that it would withdraw its external support for the government. To cause the crisis it was the proposal to ease the limits on the rents that owners can ask for new homes, supported by two other small center-right parties that were not part of the coalition.
“It is not the Left Party that has abandoned the Social Democratic government, it is the Social Democratic government that has abandoned the Left Party and the Swedish people,” said Nooshi Dadgostar, leader of the Left Party, who on June 15 gave an ultimatum to the government before withdrawing the external support of its 27 MPs.
Löfven can now choose to step down with his government, leaving it to the president of parliament to find a new majority, or he can call early elections within a week. In both cases, a new government would remain in office only until September 2022, when the parliamentary elections scheduled for the end of the legislature will still have to be held. The 63-year-old former trade unionist, known for his negotiating skills, could try to form a new executive, avoiding bringing the Social Democrats to a vote at an unfavorable time.
Already in 2014, three months after the elections that had led him for the first time to the head of the executive, Löfven had announced that he would call early elections, and then back down thanks to a new agreement to keep a minority coalition in government. . After the elections in September 2018, Löfven had also lost the vote of confidence held, but remained in office until the following January when he was re-elected by parliament to lead another minority government.
A historically weak government that “should never have come to power,” Jimmie Åkesson, leader of the right-wing party of the Swedish Democrats who presented the no-confidence motion, said today in parliament. The motion was voted on by all 349 parliamentarians, with 109 against and 51 abstentions.