the right and far right block in front of a short head – Liberation

the right and far right block in front of a short head – Liberation

the right and far right block in front of a short head – Liberation

In Sweden, the press had predicted elections worthy of a thriller. It has not been denied. At the end of Sunday’s election night, the country fell asleep without knowing the outcome of the legislative elections. And on Monday morning, the right-wing bloc, including the far right, took the lead: 175 seats against 174 in the left bloc, led by the outgoing Social Democratic Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson. However, no one dares to claim victory.

After four years marked by political instability in Parliament, the slightest gap between left and right bodes well, once again, for a weak majority. “We are heading back towards a difficult mandate”, predicts the national newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Attention card

Magdalena Andersson’s rival, the leader of the conservative party of Moderates Ulf Kristersson, then played the card of caution: “If we have the majority on our side, I am ready to do everything in my power to create a stable and effective government”, he announced to his supporters gathered in Stockholm on Sunday evening. For his part, the head of the government timed: “Swedish democracy must run its course, all votes must be counted and we will wait for the result”.

At 30.5%, his party, the Social Democrats, has a better score than four years ago. But the right having gained a slight advantage, the mood on Sunday was very fluctuating in its campaign headquarters. Ulla, a 73-year-old psychologist who wears a Prime Minister’s badge, summed up the atmosphere within her party:It is tight, but there is still hope. “

Because these results can still change. The gap in favor of the right is so narrow that we will have to wait for the counting of early votes and the Swedes abroad, from Wednesday, to have their hearts on the net.

Record of results for the far right

However, there is one certainty: the far-right party, the Democrats of Sweden (SD), is the big winner of these elections. Based on the 95% seat count, SD won 20.6% of the votes, becoming the second largest political party in the country – ahead of the Moderates (19.1%), the traditional opposition party – with an increase of three. points compared to 2018. If the polls had allowed us to see it arrive, it remains entirely new. And if that were confirmed, it would be an earthquake.

The nationalist and anti-immigration party led by Jimmie Åkesson was ostracized by all Swedish parties until the 2018 election. But for this legislative election, the right-wing bloc agreed to ally with SD and campaign with his support, believing that it was his only chance to return to power after eight years of social democratic rule. An unprecedented cooperation that completes the transition of the Democrats of Sweden from pariah to mainstream party.

“It would be a historic turning point. Not only would the Swedish Democrats be included in the right-wing majority, they would also become his largest party “, which would give them unprecedented political weight, explains Nicholas Aylott, professor of political science at the University of Södertörn.

“Neo-Nazi and Suprematist roots”

SD’s political program in particular promises to adopt the most restrictive immigration policy of the European Union, to expel criminals of foreign origin, to limit family reunification or even to refuse asylum applications to “Those who create the reasons for their asylum application after leaving their country of origin”a provision that could particularly target LGBT people.

“I am shocked at the number of votes they seem to have garnered. It is a party with neo-Nazi and supremacist rootsexplains to Publication Swedish Minister for European Affairs, Hans Dahlgren. The Prime Minister reiterated that we are ready to work and cooperate with all parties, across the political spectrum, with the exception of the Swedish Democrats. We will never take this path ”.

Whatever the end result, the hardest part is yet to come. Negotiations have already begun so that the winner of these elections can form a government capable of voting on his policy and budget. However, profound differences undermine the ranks of the left (Social Democrats, Greens, Left Party, Center Party) as well as those of the Right (Moderates, Christian Democrats, Liberals, Sweden Democrats).

Long negotiations are expected

On the left, the centrists do not want to see the (formerly communist) Left Party enter the government. “They have fundamentally different ideas when it comes to economics”, recalls political scientist Nicholas Aylott. And on the right, the liberals categorically refuse to allow the Swedish Democrats to join the government. What their leader, Jimmie Åkesson, has already requested has seen their excellent score.

The negotiations will therefore be sporting and could last weeks. The previous legislative elections in 2018 triggered a political crisis in the Riksdag, the Swedish parliament. It took more than four months – exactly 134 days – for a government to be born.

Such a paralysis this time seems unlikely, since the period is so delicate: the NATO accession process has not been finalized, the country must take over the presidency of the European Union on January 1, and the Swedes are facing inflation and prices of ‘ electricity skyrocketing. “The question is which parties will be in the government, and which only will support it, will not take part in it. It may take some time, but probably not 134 days “, says Nicholas Aylott. “This time the parties have a clearer vision of which prime minister they want and under what conditions”he says.

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