A woman standing in front of photojournalists.
Center Party leader Annie Lööf announcing her party will back Social Democrat Stefan Löfven. Credit: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Lööf wants Center Party to back Löfven as PM

2:10 min

The leader of the Center party Annie Lööf says her party will back Social Democratic leader Stefan Löfven if the speaker of Parliament puts him forward next week for a vote to be Sweden's Prime Minister.

The Center Party had previously voted against Löfven in December. But on Friday, Lööf rattled off a string of political promises made by the Social Democrats that she said made her party's support possible.

"We will recommend that the party committee allow Stefan Löfven to be elected prime minister in next week's vote," Lööf told reporters.

Some of the compromises Lööf secured are lower taxes, tougher punishments for honor crimes and forced marriages, the possibility for family reunification for asylum seekers and measures to get newcomers into jobs and speaking Swedish faster.

The draft deal among the Social Democrats, the Greens, the Center party and the Liberals is 16-pages long and includes 73 points that Stefan Löfven would push as prime minister. The list includes instituting a language requirement for people to become Swedish citizens, deregulating rents for tenants in newly constructed buildings, and keeping the on tax flying.

According to Lööf the deal would mean that neither the Sweden Democrats nor the Left Party would have influence within Löfven’s government.

The deal is over policies, and does not mean that the Center Party or the Liberal Party would be part of the government. Instead, the Social Democrats and the Greens will govern, and the four parties will co-operate over the budget, based on the detailed agreement.

Sweden has been without a new government for four months now after September's general election produced a split parliament. Since then the center-left and center-right blocs have been unable to reach a compromise. Both have also refused to work with the anti-immigration Sweden Democrat Party.

Ulf Kristersson of the conservative Moderate Party said it would be a “historic mistake” if the Center and Liberal parties broke away from the Alliance, the center-right four-party bloc that campaigned together and once ruled Sweden.

Lööf's support does not guarantee Löfven will clear a vote in parliament but it greatly increases his chances of success. 

The speaker of parliament Andreas Norlén will announce the third candidate for prime minister on Monday, to be put up for a vote by lawmakers on Wednesday. If this candidate and a fourth are both rejected, an extra election will be called.

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