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stefan lofven

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Sweden’s PM Stefan Lofven will have to resign after a no confidence vote in the parliament.

The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats (SD) backed the vote to remove the prime minister, weeks after a general election that delivered a hung parliament.

In the September 25 dramatic vote, 204 lawmakers voted against Stefan Lofven while 142 voted in favor.

Parliament’s speaker will now propose a new leader – a process that could take weeks.

Stefan Lofven is expected to stay on as caretaker prime minister while his replacement is decided.

The leader of the center-left Social Democrats came to power in 2014. His centre-left alliance won 144 seats in this month’s election, one more than the center-right opposition.

Neither of the main blocs intends to govern with the nationalist SD, the third-largest party in the new parliament.

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However, the job of prime minister could fall to Ulf Kristersson, leader of the Moderates. The new speaker, Andreas Norlen, who is also a member of the Moderates, was confirmed in the position on September 24 with the support of SD.

While Ulf Kristersson is widely seen as the person most likely to form a new government, others may be invited to do so if he fails – including Stefan Lofven himself.

If there are four unsuccessful attempts to form a government that will trigger fresh elections – something which has never happened before.

Speaking after the vote, Stefan Lofven, who is still the leader of the largest party, said he intended to work to form another government across the political divide.

“I see good opportunities to continue as prime minister,” he said.

Stefan Lofven said he did not believe that fresh elections were something voters wanted – but he said he would never support a government that relied on the SD.

Ulf Kristersson said that a new government was needed – one with broad political support.

While the SD is expected to back the Moderate candidate, Stefan Lofven warned the center-right bloc on September 25 against relying on the support of a party “founded by Nazis”.

The SD is a nationalist, anti-immigration party which was linked to neo-Nazis and other far-right groups for years. The party only entered parliament in 2010.

In the years since, the SD has become the third-largest party – a political success story.

Officially, the SD welcomes supporters from all backgrounds, but its history means it has been shunned by the mainstream political parties since it first won seats.

The SD has been keen to change its image, but there have been some unfortunate scandals, and several party members have been expelled in recent years for racist behavior or links to right-wing groups.

Traditionally, the SD’s supporters have been working class men.

However, the party won 18% of the vote in the recent general election – up from 13% four years ago – demonstrating a growing base in Sweden.

At least four people have been killed after a truck has smashed into a store in central Stockholm.

A dozen people were also injured in the incident on Drottninggatan (Queen Street), one of Stockholm‘s major pedestrian streets, on April 7.

Swedish PM Stefan Lofven said it was a terror attack.

One man has been arrested, after Swedish police released a CCTV image of a person who may be connected to the case.

Image source NBC News

In a speech, PM Stefan Lofven said Swedish values of democracy and freedom would not be “undermined by hatred”.

The prime minister also announced Sweden’s border controls had been strengthened.

The crash happened at the Ahlens department store just before 15:00 local time. Witnesses say the truck drove into the front window.

Swedish brewery Spendrups said its truck had been stolen on its way to a restaurant delivery earlier in the day.

“Someone jumped into the driver’s cabin and drove off with the vehicle while the driver was unloading,” a brewery spokesperson told the TT news agency.

The store sits close to Stockholm’s central station, which was evacuated.

The subway, central roads and various bus lines were also shut down after the attack.

Shots were reportedly fired in another part of the city, but Swedish police told local media there was no connection between the two incidents.

Stockholm authorities said they had made several spaces, including a number of school buildings, available as temporary accommodation for those who could not get home because of transport disruptions.

Swedish PM Stefan Lofven says he will call snap elections after his minority government lost a budget vote less than three months after coming to power.

The center-left prime minister said a new poll would take place on March 22.

The government failed to push its budget through parliament, when the far-right Sweden Democrats sided with the opposition.

The Sweden Democrats emerged as a power broker after September’s elections.

The party now holds 49 seats and, voting with the centre-right opposition on December 3, defeated the government’s budget by a margin of 182 to 153.

At a hastily called news conference after the vote, Stefan Lofven told reporters that new elections would enable voters to “make a choice in the face of this new political landscape”.

Under the constitution the prime minister cannot officially call a national poll until December 29.Stefan Lovfen calls snap elections

Accusing the centre-right parties of failing to engage constructively over the budget, Stefan Lofven complained that the opposition had allowed the far right to dictate terms.

“We have formed a government, we have a budget, and we will go into the elections with that,” he said, standing alongside a spokesman from his coalition partner, the Greens.

The Sweden Democrats became the country’s third largest party, with 13% of the vote, and is demanding a reversal in Sweden’s liberal immigration laws, which party spokesman Mattias Karlsson has condemned as an “extreme immigration policy”.

Sweden has offered permanent residence to all Syrians fleeing the conflict and has the highest rate of asylum applications per capita of any EU country.

Sweden’s Migration Board said this year that as many as 2,000 people were applying every week. Most were from Syria, although there had also been an increase from Eritrea.

Stefan Lofven’s Social Democrats formed a minority government with the Greens but between them they have only 138 seats in the 349-seat parliament.

Sweden’s PM Stefan Lofven has announced that his country will become the first long-term EU member country to recognize the state of Palestine.

Stefan Lofven said: “The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution.”

It should be “negotiated in accordance with international law”, he said.

Sweden last month voted out the centre-right Alliance coalition of Fredrik Reinfeldt after eight years.

That allowed the Social Democrats led by Stefan Lofven to form a government with other parties on the left including the Greens.

“A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine,” Stefan Lofven said on Ocotber 3, without giving a timeline for the recognition.

Sweden will join more than 130 other countries that recognize a Palestinian state.

PM Stefan Lofven has said Sweden will become the first long-term EU member country to recognize the state of Palestine

PM Stefan Lofven has said Sweden will become the first long-term EU member country to recognize the state of Palestine

Most of the EU’s 28 member states have refrained from recognizing Palestinian statehood and those that do – such as Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – did so before joining the bloc.

The Palestinians have long sought to establish an independent, sovereign state in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem as its capital, and the Gaza Strip – occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War.

Correspondents say Sweden’s move is likely to be strongly criticized by Israel and the US, who argue that an independent Palestinian state should only emerge through negotiations.

In 1988, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat unilaterally declared a Palestinian state within the pre-June 1967 lines.

This won recognition from about 100 countries, mainly Arab, Communist and non-aligned states – several of them in Latin America.

The 1993, Oslo Accord between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel led to mutual recognition. However, two decades of on-off peace talks have since failed to produce a permanent settlement.

In 2012, the UN General Assembly voted to upgrade the status of the Palestinians to that of a “non-member observer state”.

It followed a failed bid to join the international body as a full member state in 2011 because of a lack of support in the UN Security Council.

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Leader of Sweden’s Social Democrats Stefan Lofven has announced he will try to form a government after their election win, but will not work with the far right.

Results show Stefan Lofven’s opposition party is set to return to power, but with no clear parliamentary majority.

They give the centre-left bloc 43.7%, ahead of the 39.3% for PM Fredrik Reinfeldt’s Moderate Party. The far-right Sweden Democrats were at 13%.

Fredrik Reinfeldt admitted defeat and said he will step down as prime minister on September 15.

He also confirmed that he would step down as leader of the conservative Moderate Party.

Stefan Lofven said the country needed a “new direction” and faced major challenges after eight years of centre-right rule.

“We are in a serious situation. We have thousands of people unemployed, We have school results that are declining more than in any other OECD [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development] country,” he said.

Leader of Sweden's Social Democrats Stefan Lofven has announced he will try to form a government after their election win, but will not work with the far right

Leader of Sweden’s Social Democrats Stefan Lofven has announced he will try to form a government after their election win, but will not work with the far right

Since coming to power in 2006, Fredrik Reinfeldt’s coalition government has cut income and corporate taxes, abolished a tax on wealth and trimmed welfare benefits.

It has also privatized several state-owned companies, including the maker of Absolut vodka.

The results signal a return to normality in Swedish politics. The Social Democrats have not been in opposition for so long since first taking power in 1920.

With more than 99% of votes counted, the Social Democrats, Greens and Left parties looked set to win around 159 seats in the 349-seat parliament, short of a majority.

Stefan Lofven told supporters in Stockholm that he would now explore the possibilities of forming a government, but would not cooperate with the Sweden Democrats.

The far-right anti-immigration party are set to become the country’s third largest party.

Correspondents say they could hold the balance of power.

“We’re the absolute kingmaker in parliament now,” Jimmie Aakesson, leader of the far-right party, told reporters.

However, Stefan Lofven insisted he would not turn to the far-right party.

“We will make sure they don’t get that kingmaker role,” he told supporters.

The Sweden Democrats, who entered parliament for the first time in 2010, are alone in opposing the country’s liberal immigration policy.

Sweden this year expects up to 80,000 asylum-seekers from Syria, Eritrea, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries – the highest number since 1992.

Meanwhile, results confirm that a small feminist party that had hoped to enter parliament failed to reach the 4% threshold.

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