Brussels (Brussels Morning) Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced plans to step down as PM and head of the Social Democratic Workers’ Party (SAP) in November to give his successor time to prepare for the general election in September next year.
Löfven became the first Swedish PM to lose a vote of no confidence earlier this year and the parliament returned him to office in July as the Moderate Party, the largest opposition party, failed to secure support to form a new government, according to Reuters reporting on Sunday.
Commenting on his seven years as party president, Löfven pointed out “everything has an end and I want to give my successor the very best conditions.”
The Swedish government could fall soon as it lacks the support needed to pass a budget in the autumn.
The SAP and other left-of-centre European parties have been losing support in recent years while parties on the right have been gaining ground. According to polls, the centre-left and centre-right blocs in Sweden are still deadlocked, which means that forming a stable ruling coalition will be difficult.
Sweden’s parliament was deadlocked after the 2018 general election, as larger parties did not want to join forces with the Sweden Democrats, a right-wing populist party with anti-immigration policies.
The SAP is to elect a new party leader in early November, after which the parliament has to confirm Löfven’s successor as PM, according to the Swedish constitution. The next general election in Sweden is slated for 11 September next year, according to The Guardian reporting on Sunday.
Löfven described his time as SAP head and PM as “fantastic years” and added that leaving the party helm and stepping down as PM is “not easy, but right.”
While it is not clear who will succeed Löfven as leader of the SAP, Swedish TT news agency noted that Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson is a possible candidate.