The anti-Muslim immigration Sweden Democrats party backed the center-right opposition to remove the country’s Socialist Democrat Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven (right), out of office after four years, in a vote of no-confidence, following September’s election that delivered a hung parliament.
Al-Jazeera (h/t Maurice) The Sweden Democrats, with 62 seats and shunned by all parties since entering parliament in 2010, backed the Alliance in Tuesday’s vote – an obligatory test of the prime minister’s parliamentary support after an election. A total of 204 of 349 members of parliament voted against Lofven, while 142 voted in favour of him.
The speaker of parliament, Andreas Norlen, is now charged with beginning talks with party leaders to find a new candidate for prime minister.
Norlen is widely expected to task Ulf Kristersson, the head of the opposition Alliance coalition, with the job, but the Alliance does not hold a majority in parliament and has so far ruled out any collaboration with the Sweden Democrats.
Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Akesson repeated on Tuesday his party wanted a say in policy as the price of supporting a new government.
“We will do everything in our power to stop any attempt to form a government, do everything to bring down every government, which does not give us a reasonable influence in proportion to our electoral support,” Akesson said.