Kakabaveh, who resigned from the Left Party in 2019, how holds the decisive vote in Sweden’s parliament, and she has been using the leverage this gives her to extract pledges from the government to support the Kurdish autonomous government in northern Syria.
Turkey’s demand that Sweden ends its weapons ban is one of its key conditions to back Sweden’s bid for Nato membership, so ceding to Kakabaveh’s demand threatens to freeze the country’s Nato talks.
Kakabaveh told Sweden’s TT newswire that if she did not use her position for the good of the Kurds, it would be tantamount to helping Turkey in its attacks.
“It would be as if I was sending weapons there which are used against the Kurds,” she said.
Sweden’s government hopes to submit an additional amendment budget to parliament next week which, if it wins Kakabaveh’s support, would allow it to pass its budget and honour a deal struck in November with the Left Party to hike monthly payments for the poorest pensioners.
When Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg came to Sweden on Monday, he singled out dropping the arms ban as one of the “important steps” Sweden was making to overcome Turkey’s objections.
“I welcome that Sweden has already started to change its counter-terrorism legislation and that Sweden will ensure that the legal framework for arms export will reflect the future status as a Nato member with new commitments to allies,” he said.
Kakabaveh has now used her position to extract concessions four times: once last July, when parliament voted on whether to return Stefan Löfven as prime minister, once in November, when Magdalena Andersson was elected PM, once in the run-up to the no-confidence vote in Sweden’s justice minister on June 7th, and now in the run-up to next week’s additional amendment budget vote.
Sweden’s party system means that unless she finds a party willing to have her as a candidate, she will cease to be an MP after September’s election.