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Sweden: Center-right leader will try to form new government

June 29, 2021 GMT
Andreas Norlen, the Speaker of the Swedish parliament, faces the media after his meetings with the leaders of the parliamentary parties at the Parliament House in Stockholm, Sweden, Tuesday June 29, 2021. Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven resigned after losing a confidence vote in parliament last week and he called on parliamentary speaker to try to form a new government of coalition of parties. (Stina Stjernkvist / TT via AP)
Andreas Norlen, the Speaker of the Swedish parliament, faces the media after his meetings with the leaders of the parliamentary parties at the Parliament House in Stockholm, Sweden, Tuesday June 29, 2021. Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven resigned after losing a confidence vote in parliament last week and he called on parliamentary speaker to try to form a new government of coalition of parties. (Stina Stjernkvist / TT via AP)

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The head of Sweden’s center-right opposition Moderates party, Ulf Kristersson, was tasked Tuesday with trying to form a new coalition government a day after Prime Minister Stefan Lofven resigned following a no-confidence vote last week.

Parliament speaker Andreas Norlen earlier held a first round of consultations with all party leaders, starting with Lofven who heads the Social Democratic Party — Sweden’s largest political group.

Norlen said he asked Kristersson to try to form a government because he is the leader of the largest in the group of parties that unseated Lofven.

Kristersson has until Friday to try to find support for a government, Norlen said, adding that the deadline could be extended. If he fails, Norlen will ask another politician to head the process.

Lofven, in office since 2014, lost a no-confidence vote in parliament on June 21. Instead of calling an early election, as the Constitution allows him, he opted for the coalition-building process that is overseen by Norlen.

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The motion was called by the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats party. But it ultimately succeeded because a government ally had withdrawn its support for Lofven’s administration over proposed legislation to tackle a housing shortage.

Lofven, a63-year-old former welder, will remain caretaker prime minister until a new government has been found.

His party holds 100 of parliament’s 349 seats. Lofven had headed a minority government composed of a Social Democratic-Green coalition.

None of the parties in parliament want to cooperate with the Sweden Democrats.

Sweden’s next general elections are normally set for Sept. 11. 2022.