With Monday’s parliamentary vote to select a new speaker of parliament appearing to be settled, with Moderate MP Andreas Norlén expected to be awarded the post, the question of selection of the deputy speakers must also be resolved.
The Green Party has said it will reject the Sweden Democrat candidate for the post, Björn Söder, and vote for the Left party’s Lotte Johnsson Fornarve as second deputy speaker.
The environmentalist group has also said it will vote for Social Democrat Åsa Lindestam as speaker, even though Norlén is expected to win that vote after the Sweden Democrats confirmed their support on Saturday.
Usually, the speaker is a member of Sweden's largest political party or bloc, meaning that after the September 9th election, a Social Democrat candidate would have been expected.
The role is a key one, as it is the speaker who puts a proposal for the new prime minister to parliament.
The speaker of Sweden’s Riksdag parliament is assisted by three deputy speakers who are also elected by a vote in the chamber. Traditionally, the second, third and fourth largest parties nominate one of their MPs for these offices.
The populist Sweden Democrats (SD) party won 62 seats in the election, while the left and right of centre ‘blocs’ – party alliances led by the Social Democrats and Moderates – won 144 and 143 of the total 349 seats respectively in the parliament.
“We do not want the Sweden Democrats to influence the formation of government and think it’s regrettable that the conservative parties did not want to have a conversation and reach agreement over a (speaker) candidate with broad support,” Green parliamentary group leader Maria Ferm told TT.
The Greens will vote for Left’s Fornarve over Söder, who is the incumbent in the position.
“We did not support Söder last time either, but there was no opposing candidate then. Now there is, and we have decided to support Lotte Johnsson Fornarve because we do not think Björn Söder is a good representative for Sweden,” Ferm said.
Although the votes of the Left and Green parties, who have 28 and 16 seats respectively, are not enough for Fornarve to be confirmed, the ‘Alliance’ bloc of conservative parties has said it will abstain from the vote over the second deputy speaker, enabling the Left candidate to be confirmed provided the Social Democrats also vote in her favour.