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Swedish PM Stefan Löfven loses no-confidence vote

Swedish PM Stefan Löfven loses no-confidence vote

Stefan Löfven, Sweden’s Social Democrat prime minister since 2014, has lost a no-confidence vote, making him the first Swedish leader ever to lose such a motion.

The vote was initiated on Tuesday by the small Left party, an ally of the minority government that is not in the two-party ruling coalition, over a plan to ease rent controls for new-build apartments.

It is unclear what will happen next. Löfven said on Thursday he wanted to await the outcome of the vote and then “think through what is best for Sweden”.

He said he had two options: call a snap election or become the head of a caretaker government.

But with parliament deadlocked, it is not clear who could form a new administration. Opinion polls suggest the centre-left and centre-right blocs are evenly balanced, meaning a snap election may not bring clarity.

A new government, or a caretaker regime, would only sit until a general election scheduled for September next year.

Löfven’s shaky minority coalition with the Green party has relied on support in parliament from two small centre-right parties and the Left party since a tight election in 2018.

He has one week to decide what to do.

Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report

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