The interim prime minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven, will attempt to form a government next week with the tacit support of the centre-right despite the fact that his counterpart in the Center Party, Annie Lööf, says she and her supporters could abstain from voting against Löfven, a Social Democrat, in a parliamentary vote set for early December in exchange for specific policy concessions.
With an 8% share of the vote, the centre-right party is not breaking ranks with the traditional right-of-centre alliance by joining the government. By abstaining, however, it would allow the incumbent left-wing coalition to remain in power.
The Center Party has demanded lower taxes, labour market reform, and a more open housing market. Lööf has given Löfven until next week to respond, but the scope for manoeuvre is limited.
Sweden has had a hung parliament since September. Löfven’s coalition government enjoys the support of three parties and 144 MPs in the 365-seat parliament. The Center Party could tilt the balance between right and left with its 31 seats and produce a Swedish version of Germany’s broad coalition.
The Swedish centre-right has been unable to form a government after the Liberal and Centre parties refused to participate in a government that would hand over direct or indirect influence to the far-right over policy.