Reinfeldt Voted In As New Prime Minister

Fredrik Reinfeldt was voted in as Sweden’s new Prime Minister on Thursday after his centre-right opposition coalition toppled the ruling Social Democrats in last month’s elections.

Reinfeldt officially replaced Social Democratic Leader Göran Persson, who served as premier for 10 years, after a formal vote in Sweden’s 349 member parliament. Reinfeldt received 175 votes in his favour, 169 against.

The 41-year-old Reinfeldt, Sweden’s youngest prime minister since 1926, said it felt ”a bit surreal” to take over the government.

”This is of course a great honour,” Reinfeldt told reporters after the vote. ”But it is accompanied by a great and heavy responsibility, to realize that he who has a lot of power has a great responsibility to use that power in a wise way.”

On Friday, Reinfeldt will announce his cabinet ministers and lay out his government’s plans for the next four years. he’ll launch a budget on October the 16th.

Reinfeldt’s Moderate Party led a four-party opposition bloc that won parliamentary elections on Sept. 17, ending 12 years of Social Democratic rule in the Scandinavian country. He has pledged to fine-tune Sweden’s vaunted welfare model by lowering taxes for workers and reducing the state’s ownership in big companies.