Sweden’s parliament votes in conservative Kristersson as PM

(Update: changes headline, lede, adds detail)

Copenhagen, Oct 17 (EFE).- Sweden’s parliament voted in favor of conservative leader Ulf Kristersson as prime minister on Monday, three days after he struck a deal with the right-wing bloc to form a minority coalition government.

Kristersson received 176 votes in favor and 173 against.

He is set to announce his governmental declaration to parliament and present his cabinet of ministers on Tuesday, which formally take power during a Council of State, which is chaired by Sweden’s head of state King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Under the agreement striked on Friday, Kristersson’s Moderates will form a minority government with the Christian Democrats and Liberals, which will be propped up by the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD).

The country’s right-wing bloc won the legislative elections on Sep. 11 with 176 seats while the center-left bloc of the outgoing Social Democratic Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson secured 173.

The Social Democratic Party received the most votes with 30.3% , ahead of the SD with 20.5%, and the Conservatives with 19.1%.

The agreement between the four political forces includes a tougher immigration policy and a crackdown on crime, as well as a boost to nuclear energy and a cut in the development aid budget.

SD leader Jimmie Åkesson admitted on Friday that he would have preferred to have been a part of a majority government but stressed that his party will have extensive political influence.

On Sep. 19, Kristersson was officially asked to lead negotiations to try to form a government after House Speaker Andreas Norlen met with all the party leaders and a majority of them backed the conservative politician.

The SD, formed with neo-Nazi roots in the late 1980s, has been subjected to a “cordon sanitaire” by the country’s other political parties since it managed to win seats in parliament in 2010, a situation that explains why the social democrats have governed in a minority during the past two legislatures despite the fact that there was a center-right majority in the Chamber.

Conservatives, Christian Democrats and Liberals, however, were open last year to break that isolation, although they rejected SD’s entry into a government. EFE


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