Swedish Parliament elects conservative Prime Minister
The Swedish parliament on Monday elected Ulf Kristersson — the conservative Moderate Party leader — as Prime Minister at the head of a coalition that is being supported by a once radical farRight party.
Kristersson, 59, was elected by 176-173 votes. His government is expected to be presented on Tuesday. His three-party coalition does not have a majority, but in Sweden, Prime Ministers can govern as long as there is no parliamentary majority against them.
After a month of talks with the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, Kristersson presented an agreement that gave them an unprecedented position of influence in Swedish politics. They took over 20 per cent of the vote at the September 11 election.
Kristersson’s Centre-Right coalition government comprises his party and the Liberals and the Christian Democrats, but he has said it will remain in “close collaboration” with the Sweden Democrats. He depends on the support of the Sweden Democrats to secure a majority in parliament, putting the party in a position to influence government policy from the sidelines even without cabinet seats.
The Sweden Democrats were founded in the 1980s by far-Right extremists. They toned down their rhetoric and expelled openly racist members under Jimmie Akesson, who took over the party in 2005.
Akesson said he would have preferred cabinet seats for the Sweden Democrats, but he supported the deal that would give his party influence over government policy.