Löfven stays put: Sweden at a dead end?

Sweden's Social Democratic Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has decided to resign rather than call a snap election after last week's vote of no confidence. The speaker of parliament must now appoint a candidate to form a new government. Sweden's commentators suspect it will be Löfven again. Meanwhile their colleagues in Finland find the whole situation baffling.

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Göteborgs-Posten (SE) /

More of the same? No thank you!

Göteborgs-Posten sees no point to Löfven's decision against new elections:

“The parliament is at an impasse, sandwiched between two government constellations neither of which has enough support. ... This situation has not changed since 2018, when it took the parliamentary speaker four months to get a government up and running. ... There are many indications that Löfven will once again become head of government - but with even shakier support than before. It seems we just can't get rid of him, despite all the crises since 2018. ... Will this head of government really be tolerated by parliament? And is it really a responsible approach to test this yet again?”

Aftonbladet (SE) /

The right-wing conservative camp is delighted

Opposition leader Ulf Kristersson is probably quite happy to let Löfven continue in his post for the time being, Aftonbladet speculates:

“Kristersson wants to become prime minister in 2022, and he certainly won't mind if the Social Democrats have completely disintegrated by then. ... The most likely scenario is that the conservatives will let an increasingly embattled Löfven muddle through until the 2022 election in order to increase their chances of winning. Ultimately, it's about the systemic change that they [Moderaterna, together with the Christian Democrats and Sweden Democrats] are seeking. The last two weeks have considerably increased their chances of winning - and that is probably the most significant effect of the government crisis.”

Ilta-Sanomat (FI) /

We Finns are better at this

Sweden's political community needs to be more flexible and pragmatic, says Ilta-Sanomat:

“From a Finnish perspective the Swedish problems seem strange. We are used to almost all parties being able to form a government together. ... From the Finnish point of view the Swedish system has become a house of cards that can be brought down by the slightest bump. This can lead to a loss of continuity that makes it difficult to run the country. Sweden should therefore move in our direction. But it has a tendency to stick to old habits, no matter how problematic they may be.”