STOCKHOLM (AFP) – Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven resigned yesterday, one week after he lost a vote of no confidence, leaving it up to the speaker of parliament to begin the search for a replacement.
Lofven could have either called a snap election or resigned following the no-confidence vote last week.
He told a press conference a snap election was “not what is best for Sweden,” pointing to the difficult situation the COVID-19 pandemic posed, coupled with the fact that the next general election is a year away.
“With that starting point, I have requested the speaker to relieve me as prime minister,” Lofven said.
The 63-year-old Lofven, a former welder and union leader with the square build and nose of a boxer, guided the Swedish left back to power in 2014, and then hung on by moving his party closer to the centre right after the 2018 elections.
He finally fell out with the Left Party propping up his government, becoming the first Swedish government leader to be defeated by a no-confidence vote.