Sweden gets new Prime Minister: ‘I will take a few days’

Written by AFP Håkan Dahlström, a 35-year-old who has never been a member of parliament, has become the new Prime Minister of Sweden on Wednesday. However, rather than last three years like many of…

Sweden gets new Prime Minister: 'I will take a few days'

Written by AFP

Håkan Dahlström, a 35-year-old who has never been a member of parliament, has become the new Prime Minister of Sweden on Wednesday.

However, rather than last three years like many of his predecessors, he left the post hours after his coalition government was sworn in on Wednesday evening.

Dahlström’s resignation came after his conservative Moderate Party led by Ulf Kristersson won a majority in the elections earlier this month. Kristersson was appointed Prime Minister with the Social Democrats and Greens who won the second largest number of seats.

Sweden had been in political gridlock after parliament failed to elect a new Prime Minister after the left-wing-led Alliance refused to support Kristersson in his bid for the position.

Håkan Dahlström , 35, leads Sweden’s conservative Moderate Party. EPA/ALTODO

But in a move that opened up the possibility of fresh elections, the Alliance withdrew support from its own leader, Harriet Sigurdardottir, and appointed Dahlström.

Dahlström called for unity but added he’d be taking some time to make his mind up on the mandate. “I will also take a few days to think about my mandate.”

He added that he would meet with the opposition parties again in the coming days, which could lead to another election being called.

A major platform of the Moderates is more spending on defence and defense will now be a focus of Dahlström’s government. He will not need to introduce new bills through parliament because he has an absolute majority with the largest support across the country, with 41 MPs in total.

The “right-wing populist Swedish Democrats,” who made a surge in the recent election, have so far refused to support any government proposed by the Moderates.

The outgoing government of the Center Party also failed to pass a vote of confidence.

Although left-wing groups and some unions had called for a fresh vote of confidence as well as new coalition talks to focus on health care and education, Dahlström was looking at all options.

“I’ve worked today with my new colleagues to figure out what could be best for Sweden in the future. There’s a lot to discuss, there are many other alternatives than the present government,” he told Swedish television network SVT.

He will be sworn in by King Carl XVI Gustaf on Wednesday evening.

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