Social Democrats hold on to power in Malmö

Social Democrats hold on to power in Malmö
Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh has managed to hang onto power in Malmö. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Malmö Mayor Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh has beaten off a post-election challenge from the local Moderate leader Torbjörn Tegnhammar, after the Centre and Liberal Parties abstained.
Stjernfeldt Jammeh was voted back for another four years as the city's mayor shortly after 2pm on Monday, winning 29 votes from councillors compared to 24 for Tegnhammar. 
“I am extremely happy with the the trust put in me to continue leading Malmö,” Stjernfeldt Jammeh said at a press conference in Malmö Town Hall on Monday afternoon. 
She said her aim remained to pursue a coalition agreement with one or more parties to the centre, particularly the Liberal Party, and said her government would rely on continual negotiations both within and across political blocs to get through its policies. 
“It’s no secret that we are going to continue to have long, detailed discussions with many different parties,” she said. 
The Social Democrats will rule alone, and not in coalition with the Green Party, as they have done in Malmö since 2006. 

On the night of Sweden's general election on September 9th, Tegnhammar had appeared to celebrate victory at the glitzy Malmö Live conference venue, alongside his counterparts in the centre-right Alliance Niels Paarup-Petersen, from the Centre Party, and Roko Kursar from the Liberals. 
If he had succeeded in ousting the Social Democrats, it would have been the first time the party had lost control of the city, one of its key strongholds, in 24 years. 
But in post-election negotiations, Tegnhammar failed to find a way to steer the city without becoming dependent on the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, something neither of his alliance partners were willing to accept. 
On Sunday, Kursar wrote an article in Sydsvenskan explaining why his party's four councillors would abstain from voting, arguing that there was no way for the Alliance parties to take power without giving the Sweden Democrats the deciding vote. 
“With the mandates we have today, we cannot take power in Malmö in a coalition consisting of the Moderates, Liberals and Centre party, without the active or passive support of the Sweden Democrats,” he said. 

Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh at a press conference on Monday. Photo: Richard Orange/The Local
Paarup-Petersen said he was disappointed at the failure to oust the Social Democrats from power. 
“It doesn't feel very good. We have gone through the election with the hope of changing the government here in Malmö but the voters wanted it differently,” he told The Local. “The voters haven’t voted for regime change here in Malmö — unfortunately because we desperately need it. 

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