Magdalena Andersson, Sweden’s center-left Prime Minister, has conceded defeat after her Social Democrats, which have held office since 2014, lost in a landslide to the four-party right-wing opposition coalition. A far-right and right-wing bloc predicted to win the general election appeared on track to unseat Andersson last Wednesday, the first female Swedish prime minister in history.
As a result of Sunday’s election result, Sweden’s prime minister has announced that she will step down from office. Despite 99% of the votes being counted, Magdalena Andersson’s center-left coalition appears set to lose only three seats to a bloc of right-wing parties. pic.twitter.com/ujO4qyf4gx
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) September 15, 2022
As of the latest election results from the election authority, the center-left is expected to win 173 seats compared with 176 for the Moderates, Liberals, Sweden Democrats, and Christian Democrats in the parliament of 349 seats. Despite the last votes being counted, Andersson said the right would win a majority of seats so that she would resign as prime minister tomorrow.
During a news conference, Andersson told reporters that the right has a one- or two-seat majority in parliament. She added that it is a thin majority, but a majority, nonetheless. Ulf Kristersson is the candidate for the Right group for Prime Minister. Kristersson told journalists that he would begin work on forming a new government that could get things done, a government that would be of benefit to all citizens of Sweden.
The Sweden Democrats leader, Jimmie Akesson, said his party would contribute to rebuilding safety in Sweden in a constructive and driving way. The time had come to put Sweden first, he added.
Having roots in the white supremacist fringe, the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats are poised to gain influence over government policy following the election. Al Jazeera’s Paul Rhys reported from Malmo that the results are unprecedented because the far-right Sweden Democrats have gained such a strong foothold in Swedish politics, which historically has been leftist.
Rhys has reported that Sweden has experienced mass immigration over the past decade, with approximately a million people taking citizenship during this period. Unfortunately, a crime wave has arisen along with it,” he noted. As of the present, Sweden has the highest rate of gang-led gun deaths in Europe, the Al Jazeera correspondent noted. He also said that the Sweden Democrats are taking action in this regard.
The Prime Minister of Sweden, Ms. Andersson, admitted in her resignation speech that Sweden has failed to integrate immigrants. However, the Al Jazeera correspondent reported that the Sweden Democrats, who oppose immigration, have seen their support base increase from five percent of the vote in the last election to twenty percent. In response to concerns expressed by many, Andersson said she understood their concern about the party having roots in the white supremacist fringe and becoming the country’s second-largest party.
Bid to Join NATO
In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Andersson said, “I understand your concern, and I share it.” Besides, she led the country in its historic attempt to join NATO following that invasion. Sweden Democrats have ties to the neo-Nazi movement and have been shunned for many years by Swedes. However, the party has recently gained popularity by expelling fringe elements and taking a tough stance on crime and immigration as gang violence and shootings have increased in the country.
Official confirmation of the general election results is still pending, most likely by the weekend. Due to the narrow majority, Kristersson faces a number of challenges in the coming months.
The Swedish economy may be in danger of a recession next year due to a cost-of-living crisis. As a result of the war in Ukraine, Sweden’s backyard – the Baltic region – has become destabilized. It is still uncertain whether Turkey will finally accept Stockholm’s application for membership in NATO. It is also necessary to find solutions to climate change and long-term energy policy, as well as to plug holes exposed by the pandemic in the welfare system and finance the expansion of defense spending as planned.