Sweden News & Current Events

Sweden Begins a Move to the Right

 

Parliament passed a law in April 2009 legalizing same-sex marriage. When the law went into effect on May 1, Sweden became the fifth European country to gay marriage.

In September 2010 parliamentary elections, the far-right, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats won seats in parliament for the first time. The elections were inconclusive as Prime Minister Reinfeldt's center-right coalition did not win a majority of seats. He reached out to other parties—not including the Sweden Democrats—to form a minority government.

 

2014 General Election Leads to Historic December Agreement

 

In the fall of 2014, the Moderate Party lost the general election. Prime Minister Reinfeldt resigned. Stefan Löfven took office as prime minister after leading his Social Democratic Party to victory with 31% of the vote. Thus, it was a return to power for the Social Democratic Party after being the opposition party for eight years. The night of the election, Löfven announced that he would attempt to form a coalition with the Green Party, the environmental party, and others. However, like Reinfeldt, Löfven ruled out working with Sweden Democrats, which had more than doubled their support in the 2014 election. In fact, Sweden Democrats, which has right-wing extremist roots, became the third-biggest party in Parliament after the 2014 election.

It didn't take long for Löfven's coalition to find itself at odds with the Sweden Democrats. Two months after Löfven took office, parliament rejected his budget proposal. The Social Democrats cast the deciding vote against Löfven's budget. As a result, he called for new elections. The elections were planned for March 22, 2015.

However, throughout Dec. 2014, Löfven's government began negotiating with other parties within his coalition in order to avoid a new election. On Dec. 27, the Swedish government announced that six parties had agreed on a plan that would allow all minority governments to have their own budget. Löfven called the agreement historical. Dubbed the "December Agreement," the plan would be in effect until the 2022 general election and removed any need for the snap election in March 2015.

See also Encyclopedia: Sweden .

U.S. State Dept. Country Notes: Sweden

Statistics Sweden www.scb.se/ .