Sweden’s Moderate Party leader gets nod to try form a new government

The Moderates, Sweden Democrats, Christian Democrats and Liberals won 176 seats in the 349-seat parliament, narrowly ahead of the center-left's 173 seats.

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Moderate party leader Ulf Kristersson delivers a speech at the Moderate party election watch at the Clarion Sign Hotel, in Stockholm, Sweden on September 12, 2022. (Fredrik Sandberg / TT News Agency via Reuters)

OSLO — Sweden’s Moderate Party leader, Ulf Kristersson, has been handed a mandate to try and form the country’s next government after a recent general election gave the right-wing bloc a majority, the speaker of parliament said on Monday.

“It was a quite simple decision,” Speaker Anders Norlen said, adding that he had not set a deadline for how long deliberations could last.

The Moderates, Sweden Democrats, Christian Democrats and Liberals won 176 seats in the 349-seat parliament, narrowly ahead of the center-left’s 173 seats, according to the Swedish election authority.

Kristersson is widely expected to try to form a minority government, leaving one or two right-wing parties out while relying on their support in parliament.

The election marks a watershed in Swedish politics with the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, a party with roots in the white supremacist fringe, on the threshold of gaining influence over government policy.

Reporting by Terje Solsvik.