Sweden’s ousted PM says he has found a path to power

Stefan Lofven, leader of Sweden's Social Democrats, holds a media conference in Stockholm on June 29, 2021. (CLAUDIO BRESCIANI / TT VIA AP)

The leader of Sweden’s Social Democrats, Stefan Lofven, will seek to form a new government via a parliamentary vote after enough parties promised not to block his comeback attempt.

The 63-year old former union boss, who was forced to resign as prime minister after losing a confidence vote last month, said he has now secured sufficient agreement among lawmakers to form a coalition administration.

“The country needs a government that has the ability to act,” Lofven said at a press conference on Monday. “I was voted out a couple of weeks ago and the parties that were behind that have not been able to come up with a viable alternative.”

The development follows earlier comments by Center Party leader Annie Loof, who said her party wouldn’t oppose Stefan Lofven in what will be a knife-edge vote on Wednesday

ALSO READ: Swedish PM Lofven resigns in wake of no-confidence vote

The development follows earlier comments by Center Party leader Annie Loof, who said her party wouldn’t oppose Lofven in what will be a knife-edge vote on Wednesday. With opposition parties vowing to vote against the ousted prime minister, it would only take one lawmaker from this emerging coalition to jump ship or push the wrong button for his effort to fail.

The political turmoil of recent weeks is the latest sign that Swedish politics have been fundamentally altered since the rise of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats. Once seen largely as a stable two-horse race with one bloc of left-leaning parties led by Social Democrats opposed by a unified center-right, the country’s political landscape has been upended by the rise of the nationalists.

Lofven has navigated the shifting political landscape by seeking alliances in the center, and has earned a reputation as a political Houdini by managing to survive seemingly intractable conflicts.

READ MORE: Swedish PM reshuffles cabinet ahead of election

But a new Lofven government would stand on even shakier ground than the one formed after a protracted general election in 2018.

The Social Democrat leader says he now believes his government can propose a budget that can be passed in parliament, “though it requires that people don’t lock themselves to their positions and demand to get 100% of what they want.”