COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – Sweden’s Minister of Finance Magdalena Andersson said on Tuesday that she needs more time to form a coalition government that can make her the country’s first female prime minister because discussions with one of the two support parties she needs have come to a standstill.
After intensive talks with the small Left Party, Andersson asked the Speaker of the Riksdag, Andreas Norlen, for an extension and had until Monday to find sufficient support in the 349-member Riksdag to form a cabinet.
Andersson, the new leader of the Social Democratic Party, wants to secure the support of the two smaller parties that supported Sweden’s former center-left minority government led by Stefan Lofven. The other ally, the Center Party, has already said that its legislators will abstain from voting against Andersson.
“It is important that we agree,” said Left Party leader Nooshi Dadgostar at a news conference. “There have been discussions in a good mood.”
According to the Swedish constitution, prime ministers can govern as long as a parliamentary majority – at least 175 legislators – is not against them. The Social Democrats currently have 100 seats and the Greens have 16 seats. Together with their allies, they have a total of 174 seats.
The right of the Riksdag is divided. Ulf Kristersson, leader of the opposition party Moderaterna – Sweden’s second largest – has repeatedly said that a center-right government is not feasible because no mainstream party wants to cooperate with the third largest Swedish party, the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats, which is rooted in a neo-Nazi movement.
On Tuesday, Andersson declined to give details about the ongoing talks with the Left Party and said that “everything that is discussed in the negotiating room stays there.”
“It’s about being able to build trust,” she said.
“Sweden urgently needs a new government, but at the same time the work should not be rushed,” Norlen said after a meeting with Andersson.
Lofven still leads the Swedish government in a caring capacity until a new government is formed.