Not So United
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Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson resigned after the right-wing opposition bloc secured a narrow majority in Sweden’s close-fought parliamentary elections this week, a victory considered historic, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Results showed that Andersson’s Social Democrats secured 107 seats in the 349-seat legislature, but failed to secure a majority. The prime minister said the opposition bloc had secured a one or two-seat advantage in parliament.
The right-wing bloc’s victory also stems from the success of the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats, a far-right group with roots in the neo-Nazi movement.
Far-right parties have long been considered pariahs in Sweden, but party leader Jimmie Akesson made efforts to make the group more mainstream and distance itself from its more extreme supporters.
Following the elections, the far-right party secured 73 seats, becoming the largest group in the right-wing coalition and paving the way for the group to form a new government.
The results, however, could prove challenging for Ulf Kristersson, the leader of the conservative Moderates Party, who is regarded as a more acceptable figure to lead the new right-wing government.
Analysts suggested that negotiations for a new government could prove difficult and lengthy.
They noted that Kristersson had gambled to form a government with other more mainstream parties and only rely on the Sweden Democrats for additional support. Some in the right-wing group, notably the Liberals, are cautious about the Sweden Democrats’ involvement in the future government.
Akesson said that his party’s participation in the government was not mandatory as long as other parties in the bloc implemented policies that he agreed with.
A new right-wing coalition would be characterized by stricter immigration laws, investment in nuclear power and lower taxes. It will have very little impact on Sweden’s decision to join NATO this year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.