Swedish PM Löfven resigns following no-confidence vote

STOCKHOLM — Sweden’s political crisis rolls on. 

On Monday morning, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said he would resign and, in line with Swedish convention, ask the speaker of the parliament to begin the process of analyzing whether a new governing coalition can be formed and win enough support in the country’s fragmented parliament.

Löfven’s alternative was to call a snap election now, an option he rejected. 

“I have to think about what is best for Sweden and this is the best option right now,” he said during a news conference. 

Löfven, a Social Democrat, resigned a week after he lost a vote of no confidence after a clash over housing market policy cost him the support of his long-time allies, the Left Party. 

The speaker of parliament, Andreas Norlén, must now decide which of two competing blocs has the best chance of forming a stable government and will begin calling in the leaders of the various parties for discussions in a process that could take weeks.

The left-leaning bloc is led by Löfven while the competing right-leaning bloc is led by Ulf Kristersson of the center-right Moderate Party, supported by the far-right Sweden Democrats. 

If no governing coalition can be agreed — after a maximum of four votes in parliament on prime ministerial candidates — a snap election will be called, likely in September, a year out from the next scheduled election in September 2022.

“We could still end up with a snap election, but this process gives a way of solving the situation before that,” Löfven said.

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