20:10 GMT +314 November 2018
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    Sweden's Prime minister Stefan Lofven attends a press conference at Rosenbad, the Swedish government headquarters, in Stockholm on July 27, 2017

    Chaos, Confusion Ensue as Swedish PM Throws in the Towel in Gov't Talks

    © AFP 2018 / Erik SIMANDER / TT News Agency
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    The complicated situation stemming from the September general election has left Sweden at a crossroads for seven weeks, with a dim outlook following failures by both major bloc leaders to build a government.

    Swedish caretaker Prime Minister and Social Democrats leader Stefan Löfven has admitted his inability to form a government, citing insufficial backing, Swedish Radio reported.

    Löfven finally gave up after two weeks of unsucessful government talks following the least successful Social Democrat election in over a century.

    "There are currently no conditions for me for form a government," Löfven said, nevertheless signaling his willingness to form a coalition government transceneding the traditional bloc policy.

    With right-wing Sweden Democrats (SD), the only "pariah" party with no formal cooperation, grabbing a sensational 62 mandates, neither of the two traditional major blocs has the power to form a government on its own. The left-wing "Red-green" bloc comprised of the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left is left with 144 mandates, whereas the center-right Alliance, comprised of the Moderates, the Center Party, the Liberals and the Christian Democrats is trailing by a single mandate.

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    Previously, Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson tried to form a government straddling the both blocs and failed. Löfven's failure leaves Sweden with few viable options. Swedish Radio's political commentator Fredrik Furtenbach suggested Center leader Annie Lööf would become the next leader to get a hand at government talks. Despite her party garnering only 8.6 percent, Lööf herself welcomed the possibility of Sweden getting its first female prime minister (such as herself).

    According to Furtenbach, the Center and the Liberals may try to persuade the Greens to collaborate with the Alliance, building a "blue-green" coalition, something that has been tried in Stockholm. Another option would be to persuade the Social Democrats to cooperate with the Alliance.

    Since no party showed interest in collaborating with right-wing Sweden Democrats, in effect reinstating the so-called December agreement from 2014, when they put aside all differences to prevent the SD from coming to power, an extra election cannot be fully excluded.

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    The SD leader said earlier this month that his party isn't afraid of this scenario, as he expects his party to grow further.

    The deadline to forming a government is November 15, by which next year's budget must be completed.

    For the most part of the 20th century, Sweden has been governed by the Social Democrats, first ruling own their own and later resorting to left-wing coalitions. The Moderates has been are the only party to effectively challenge them, forming center-right coalition governments on several occasions, last time in 2010.

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    Tags:
    Moderate Party (Sweden), Sweden Democrats party, Social Democratic Party, Jimmie Åkesson, Stefan Löfven, Scandinavia, Sweden
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