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Sweden’s ousted PM faces new vote to return as leader

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Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven gives a press conference on the new restrictions to curb the spread of the corona (Covid-19) pandemic, in Stockholm on November 11, 2020. – The Swedish government proposes an alcohol sale stop after 10 pm from November 20 until the end of February 2021. (Photo by Henrik MONTGOMERY / TT News Agency / AFP) / Sweden OUT

Sweden’s freshly ousted prime minister Stefan Lofven could return as leader after the parliamentary speaker put him forward for a vote on Monday for lack of other candidates.

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Lofven became the first Swedish premier to lose a no-confidence vote on June 21 after a wide range of parties, from the Left Party to the far-right Sweden Democrats, united against him over plans to ease rent controls for newly-built homes.

But parliamentary speaker Andreas Norlen said Monday he had “decided to nominate Stefan Lofven for prime minister” after first tapping Ulf Kristersson, the leader of Sweden’s largest right-wing opposition party — the Moderate Party.

Kristersson said however he would not have enough support in parliament, while Lofven felt he would this time round.

“There will be a vote for a prime minister on Wednesday,” Norlen said.

Ulf Bjereld, a professor of political science from the University of Gothenburg, told AFP that “a lot is indicating” that Lofven will pass the poll, as several parties have said they will vote for him or abstain.

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He cautioned however that another political crisis could loom when the government needed to pass a budget this autumn.

“That won’t be a simple task,” Bjereld said.

Should four votes to elect a new prime minister fail, a snap election will be called automatically and held within three months.

The next general election in Sweden is scheduled for September 2022 and will go ahead regardless of a snap election — meaning Swedes could be heading to the polls twice in the space of a year.

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