Swedish parliament rejects centre-right PM candidate Ulf Kristersson
Ulf Kristersson was voted down by a parliamentary majority on Wednesday. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT
Moderate Party leader Ulf Kristersson has become Sweden's first prime ministerial candidate in modern history to be voted down by parliament – including by two of his own allies.
Kristersson's proposed government of the Moderates and the Christian Democrats – but not the other two parties that make up the centre-right Alliance – was voted down by a parliamentary majority of 195 no votes to 154 yes votes on Wednesday.
While the far-right Sweden Democrats voted in favour of Kristersson's proposal, the centre-left bloc – the Social Democrats, Greens and Left Party – rejected it, as did his usual allies in the Liberals and Centre Party.
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Centre Party leader Annie Lööf said her party refused to join or support a minority government that would effectively rely on the support of the Sweden Democrats in order to get its proposals through parliament.
The Liberals' Jan Björklund described it as a "heavy day to vote against an Alliance colleague". He reiterated his support for his centre-right allies and Kristersson as a potential prime minister in principle, but added:
"Today's vote is about something more and something bigger. There's a rising tide of right-wing nationalism in the western world, which is a counter reaction to globalization, European cooperation, free trade, openness – those liberal ideas that have built our entire successful western model of society."
Parliamentary speaker Andreas Norlén put Kristersson forward after over two months of negotiation deadlock following the September 9th election. It has never happened since Sweden moved from a two-chamber parliament to its current one-chamber system in 1971 that parliament rejects the speaker's candidate.
Norlén told reporters at a press conference after Wednesday's vote that he would meet the party leaders for another round of talks on Thursday and then announce the next steps. He is allowed another three attempts at putting forward a prime ministerial candidate before a snap election is automatically called.
You can catch up on all The Local's coverage of the 2018 election HERE