Rifts in the Alliance as internal criticism mounts
Some supporters of the centre-right Alliance parties are deeply disappointed with the December Agreement that led to the cancellation of Sweden’s snap election, calling the deal "devastating", "high treason" and a "rush job".
According to the deal, struck over Christmas between the Social Democrat-Green Party government and the four centre-right parties that make up the Alliance coalition, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s government will stay in power.
While the Red-Green government will have to follow the Alliance’s budget until April at least – since the government’s own budget was struck down by the Sweden Democrats in early December - the Alliance has promised that in the future it will abstain and not vote against the Löfven government’s budget. The deal, Löfven said at a press conference on Saturday, will remain in force until 2022.
This has caused great upset amongst supporters of the Alliance, not least amongst members of the conservative Moderate Party.
"Disappointing", "devastating", "an abdication" and a "rush job". Those are some of the words party veterans have used to describe the deal. Conservative student groups have been even more dramatic, accusing the party leaders of "high treason" and urging the Alliance to "tear up" the days-old agreement.
Speaking to Radio Sweden, Karin Svanborg-Sjövall, president of the liberal, right-leaning think tank Timbro, said: “For the many party members who have been out campaigning and volunteering it’s very difficult to accept that their party is now saying they won’t go against their main opponent in Swedish politics.”