• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Sweden cancels snap election in March 2015

The Local · 27 Dec 2014, 21:22

Published: 27 Dec 2014 09:29 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Dec 2014 21:22 GMT+01:00

"Those of us here are prepared to take responsibility for how Sweden is to be governed. We have had constructive talks in the last few days," Prime Minister Löfven told reporters at a press conference in Stockholm on Saturday morning.

Löfven made the comments flanked by the leaders of the Alliance which is made up of the Moderate Party - which led the previous coalition government under Fredrik Reinfeldt - the Centre Party, the Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats. Also present were the co-leaders of the Green Party, which is currently in coalition with Löfven's centre-left Social Democrats.

The Prime Minister called the new deal the "December agreement" and said its goal was to ensure that a minority government could govern Sweden, without the need for the snap election in March 2015, an option he announced following a budget crisis earlier this month.

Neither the Left Party nor the nationalist Sweden Democrats were present at the conference.

"With this agreement, the government will not be making any decision about an extra election, it is simply not of immediate interest," said Löfven.

The deal, which will last until 2022, means that the Alliance will not vote for its own alternative budget in future votes if this threatens the elected government's budget from getting passed.

The idea is to prevent the crisis that happened earlier this month when the Alliance's opposition budget got more votes than Löfven's coalition proposal, because it was also backed by the nationalist Sweden Democrats, who hold the balance of power in parliament. The Sweden Democrats made the move in protest at the coalition's liberal immigration policies.

Between now and the next annual budget vote in autumn 2015, the Social Democrat-Green minority coalition government will follow the Alliance's centre-right budget.

The major parties have also agreed to discuss further changes to immigration policy, defence and pensions.  

"It's the politics which should be in focus, not questions of its form, and this agreement makes this possible," said Christian Democrat leader Göran Hägglund.

The Sweden Democrats, who had said they wanted to turn the now-cancelled election into a referendum on immigration, reacted with anger and disappointment to the news of the surprise deal between the centre-right and centre-left parties.

Anna Kinberg Batra, the temporary leader of the Moderates who is expected to take over from Fredrik Reinfeldt, welcomed the arrangement.

"The agreement strengthens Sweden and it is something we in the Alliance welcome and have sought for quite some time," she said.

Story continues below…

Meanwhile Annie Lööf of the Centre Party was equally emphatic about the deal, which was formed behind the scenes during the Christmas period.

"Since the 1970s we have had minority governments except for eight years. This allows us to show a need to agree on how the country can be governed with stability and efficiency across any bloc borders."

Löfven said he had no regrets about announcing a snap election a few weeks earlier.

"No, as that was based on the conditions that prevailed at the time," he said.

"Basically, the idea is to not allow the Sweden Democrats to have any influence," Camilla Sandström, a political scientist at the University of Umeå in northern Sweden told the AFP news agency.
 
"It illustrates a common feature of Swedish politics - you look for long-term solutions."
 
The snap poll had been scheduled to take place on March 22nd. If it had gone ahead, it would have been the first early election in Sweden since 1958.
 
"Sweden has a proud tradition for solving difficult problems across party boundaries, a tradition which doesn't exist in any other country," Löfven told reporters on Saturday.
 
TT/AFP/The Local/pr/ms

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Russian 'terror suspect' held at Swedish airport walks free
File photo of Arlanda Airport. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

UPDATED: A 35-year-old man has been released from police custody after being arrested at Arlanda Airport in Stockholm on Friday morning.

Northern Dispatches
'Moving to northern Sweden was the best thing we've done'
Photo: FB

In his farewell column, The Local’s northern Sweden correspondent, Paul Connolly, looks back at his first four years in Sweden.

Bear family just hanging out on Swedish golf course
Not the bear cub in question. But isn't he cute? Photo: AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

A bear family has been roaming a Swedish golf course, and the best thing of all is that no one cares.

The Local investigates
What do we actually know about the violence in Malmö?
Police investigating an explosion in Malmö on Thursday. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

International media have presented a "distorted" view of a spate of Malmö shootings and an explosion, a senior police boss has told The Local.

The Local List
Reasons why Stockholm Pride is simply awesome
Photo: Annika af Klercker/TT.

Stockholm's Pride festival culminates on Saturday with a parade – and more than a few parties. Here's why we think it's pretty amazing.

Cashless Swedes sitting on old bills worth billions

Old Swedish bank notes worth 1.4 billion kronor are still circulating, according to the country’s central bank, despite them having been declared invalid a month ago.

Homes
In pictures: Why is Nordic design so hot right now?
Scandinavian design. Photo: House of Beatniks

Design agency Studio Esinam investigates together with Houzz.se why the world is falling in love with Nordic style.

Stockholm one of world's best places to live: magazine
Living the dream. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Stockholm is the tenth best city in the world to live in, reckons this British magazine.

The Local Recipes
How to make Swedish 'Dream' cookies for fika
Now not only in your dreams. Photo: Jurek Holzer/SvD/SCANPIX

Want to fika but think cinnamon buns are too complicated? Try this recipe for a simple but yummy Swedish cookie.

Fears new funding rules could hobble Swedish startups
Elin Olsson funded the development of her innovative smoke detector through crowdfunding. Photo: Anders Andersson/TT

Crowdfunding is a risky business, but could Swedish plans to regulate it make it too hard for small companies to get investment?

Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Swedish cop makes arrest of the year
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Anyone for a bite of 340-year-old shipwrecked stinky cheese?
Gallery
People-watching: July 27th
Blog updates

26 July

A summer of change; a summer of beauty (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"You would have had to try hard to miss the political upheavals in the UK after…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Why you need a EuroBonus American Express Card
Politics
Why Sweden's high taxes are not as high as you think
Sponsored Article
What can newcomers learn about Sweden at Almedalen?
National
What's haggis in a condom doing on Swedish children's TV?
National
Meet the northern Swede who is the world's best mosquito killer
National
Sweden's Hollywood star Alicia Vikander puts her pen in the bottle
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
Gallery
People-watching: July 22nd-24th
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
The Local Voices
The Jewish Syrian who dreams of rebuilding his country
National
Watch this Swedish weather host leave his fly open... on live TV
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
The Local Voices
'I fled war in Syria. I never expected to be beaten in Sweden'
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
National
WATCH: Asylum seeker brutally beaten by Swedish bus driver
Technology
Why everyone is talking about Sweden's GTA pride parade
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
EU hits truck cartel with record price fixing fine
Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of Berlin
Society
OPINION: Why Sweden is the most extreme country in the world
The Local Voices
'There is equality in accommodation in Sweden: Everyone is suffering'
Gallery
Property of the week: Gräsö, Östhammar
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th-17th
National
How to make sure you're not caught out by Sweden's old bank notes
Business & Money
Why Sweden has been named the most innovative country in Europe
National
Terror attack: what should you do?
National
French expat on the moment he was assaulted by a Stockholm bouncer
Technology
Gunman? Nah, smartphone Swede
The Local Voices
'If the war in Syria ended today, would you go back?'
The Local Voices
‘I feel like I’m living in a grave!’
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Victoria celebrates 39th birthday
Gallery
People-watching: July 13th
National
Swedes discover surprise mountain
The Local Voices
'Even xenophobic Swedes can be polite’
The Local Voices
'The best time to be smuggled to Europe is August 20th, 2015'
The Local Voices
Swedes: Stop obsessing over your material life and start talking to strangers
3,411
jobs available