The second frustrated attempt to form a government coalition in Sweden, this time led by the Social Democratic Party, has accentuated the political blockade in this Nordic country after the close general elections of a month and a half ago.
The Social Democratic leader and acting Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, today returned the mandate given to the impossibility of finding support in the center forces, two weeks after the head of the Conservative Party, Ulf Kristersson, refused to continue probing other formations for lack of agreement.
“Right now I do not see any possibility of forming a government that can be tolerated by Parliament, everything is so blocked that we have not been able to make progress,” admitted Löfven after meeting with Parliament Speaker Andreas Norlen.
The leftist block of Löfven, whose party was the most voted, won 144 seats for 143 of the center-right Alliance and 62 of the xenophobic Democrats of Sweden (SD), with which no other political party wants to agree.
Norlén decided, after speaking separately with the leaders of the eight parliamentary forces, not to give a new mandate and instead adopt a “more active” role, inviting from tomorrow to group meetings the parties that make up the four coalitions that see possible, excluding the SD and the Left Party.
The options are: a concentration executive of the four parties of the Alliance, social democrats and ecologists; another center with these last two, liberal and centrist; the Alliance with the greens, and a government made up of some of the center-right parties.
Norlen, who did not reveal which of those options he saw as more viable, pretends to have a better image of the state of the political discussions, although he warned that there is “no guarantee” that this initiative will be “successful”.
“There will be a time when there will have to be a vote in the House, but first I want to continue the talks,” said Norlen, who considers it “reasonable” to give the parties time in the “more complicated” parliamentary situation in Sweden for decades.
Several political leaders had urged Norlen over the course of the day to take a more active role and a vote to elect a prime minister soon be held in Parliament.
Kristersson stressed that his priority option is an executive of the entire Alliance or some of his forces, a possibility that was rejected by liberal and centrist weeks ago, who do not want to depend on SD votes.
The extreme right-wing leader, Jimmie Åkesson, reiterated his willingness to give his votes to a government of Conservatives and Democrats -which would not reach an absolute majority either-, but “with guarantees”.
The option of a concentration executive in the German image was rejected again by Kristersson, while Löfven was more receptive today and did not want to exclude that possibility.
In the Swedish system it is not necessary to have an absolute majority in Parliament to be elected prime minister, it is enough not to have a majority against.
Norlen has four attempts to find a candidate capable of forming an Executive that is accepted by the House and, if it is not successful, new elections would be called in three months.
The Swedish electoral regulations do not include as such the figure of early elections, but they speak of extraordinary, since the ordinary legislative elections are invariably held every four years.
“My opinion is that some extraordinary elections are not current, but I do not rule out that in the end they are the only solution to a closed situation, as the last exit,” Norlen said.
Several polls released in the last week suggest that the left bloc would slightly improve its results in a new election, but without any clear majority, which would maintain the current situation of political blockade.
In the event that there was not yet a new government, it would be the acting executive of social democrats and ecologists who now leads Löfven in charge of submitting budgets before the deadline of November 15.