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Prime Minister Löfven survives vote of no confidence

Löfven: There are many questions before the election to discuss
2:21 min
Prime minister Stefan Löfven and defence minister Peter Hultqvist (background) on a meet and greet today during the military exrecise Aurora 17.
Prime minister Stefan Löfven and defence minister Peter Hultqvist (background) on a meet and greet today during the military exrecise Aurora 17. Credit: Jessica Gow/TT

Sweden's prime minister Stefan Löfven easily survived a vote of no-confidence in parliament, Friday, brought by the Sweden Democrats over his handling of the IT scandal at the Swedish Transport Agency.

Only 43 of the parliament's 349 members supported the motion. The Sweden Democrats said Stefan Löfven did not assume responsibility as Sweden's leader during the IT security breach and failed to realize the seriousness of the scandal.

All the Social Democrat and Green Party MPs voted against the motion while 155 parliamentarians abstained, including members of the Left Party. Its leader Jonas Sjöstedt explained to Radio Sweden why they did not support the government on the issue.

"We are not part of the government. We are an opposition party, we negotiate the national budget with the government but we are not in government."

Prior to Friday's vote, Anders Ygeman, parliamentary group leader of the Social Democrats, accused the Sweden Democrats of putting Sweden’s stability on the line. "We are living in uncertain times, and tensions are rising all around us," he said. "In this climate, the Sweden Democrats are attempting to use a motion of no confidence to throw Sweden into a governmental crisis."

The Moderate Party’s group leader Jessica Polfjärd explained that although the centre-right Alliance opposition parties did not intend to support the no confidence motion, they did "in no way" seek to absolve the Prime Minister of any wrongdoing.

She said that they first wanted to see "all the cards on the table".

Jimmie Åkesson, leader of the Sweden Democrats, commented on the gravity of the situation. "The Prime Minister has not taken his responsibility seriously," he said.

His party called for the no confidence motion on Wednesday, but the Alliance opposition parties soon after announced they would not be supporting it.

The security breach scandal concerns the government Transport Agency which outsourced IT services in a way that allowed individuals abroad, who lacked security clearance, to handle classified information. The government was criticized for not acting quick enough or passing the news along through proper channels. Two ministers eventually resigned.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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