Social Democrats: 'deal with MP to help Kurds is still valid'

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Social Democrats: 'deal with MP to help Kurds is still valid'
Justice Minister Morgan Johansson arrives in the parliament for the no-confidence vote against him. Photo: Anders Wiklund / TT kod 10040

Sweden's Social Democrats have confirmed that their party will stick to a deal struck in November with an MP to help Kurds in northern Syria, in a move that will complicate talks with Turkey over Nato.


"We Social Democrats always stand by the agreements we make. That's something you can trust," said party secretary Tobias Baudin. "There is nothing new. Nothing has happened. The agreement from November last year still applies." 

Amineh Kakabaveh, an  independent MP with Kurdish ethnicity, had been threatening to back a no-confidence vote launched by the Sweden Democrats against Justice Minister Morgan Johansson unless the Social Democrats confirmed the deal she struck to back Magdalena Andersson as PM in November, which involved financial support to the Kurdish government in northern Syria. 

Kakabaveh on Tuesday morning told SVT that she would abstain when parliament holds a no-confidence vote in Justice Minister Morgan Johansson at midday on Tuesday.


The MP, who is an ethnic Kurd from Iran, has the swing vote: if she were to back the motion by the populist Sweden Democrats, it would have the support of 175 MPs, allowing it to pass, meaning the parliament's speaker would then remove Johansson from his position. 

She told SVT that her decision to lay down her vote was conditional, however, on Tobias Baudin, the Social Democrats' party secretary, confirming the agreement reached over the weekend on a deal reached with her last November to support the Kurdish autonomous government in northern Syria. 

The issue is sensitive, given ongoing negotiations to win the backing for Swedish Nato membership from Turkey, which views the Kurdish government as part of a terrorist organisation. 

"The party secretary has given me a promise that they are going to stand by what they have promised and that there will not be any changes as a result of the Nato issue," Kakabaveh said. 

She said she had also received further pledges of support to women's organisations, Kurds and other organisations in Syria, as well as a promise from the Social Democrats that the government would call for Turkey to release the opposition politician Selahattin Demirtas.

The no-confidence motion, mounted by the Sweden Democrats last week, has thrown Sweden's government into yet another crisis, with Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson saying she would have no choice but to resign herself, along with her government, if it succeeded. 


The Sweden Democrats have won the backing of the Moderates, Christian Democrats, and Liberals for the motion, giving them 174 of the 175 votes required. 

Christian Democrat leader Ebba Busch on Monday proposed a compromise – that if Johansson resigned of its own accord, she would not back any more no-confidence motions until after the election. The Moderates and Liberals have backed her proposal, and Andersson, the prime minister, said on Monday that she would consider it. 

Busch was highly critical of the deal claimed by Kakabaveh. "This is a bad agreement for Sweden and I still hope that Magdalena Andersson is going to agree to the offer I have made for a solution," she said. 


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