Sweden Faces Deadlock After Election
Sweden faces a deadlock and weeks or months of discussions to form a new government after counting of votes in an election ended with its two main coalitions – center-left and center-right – locked neck to neck and the far-right Sweden Democrats making gains over an anti-immigration platform.
The governing centre-left coalition is marginally ahead of its centre-right Alliance rivals, with around 40 percent of votes each.
The nationalist Sweden Democrats (SD) have won about 18 percent of the vote, up from 12.9 percent in the previous election.
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, leader of the country's center-left coalition, called for cooperation across the political divide amid concerns that the center-right opposition may try to form a government with the help of the Sweden Democrats, a party with its origins in the neo-Nazi movement, according to CNN.
Both of the main blocs have refused to form an alliance with the SD, although its leader, Jimmie Åkesson, said he was open to talks with all other parties, according to the BBC.
"We will increase our seats in parliament and we will gain huge influence over what happens in Sweden during the coming weeks, months and years," Jimmie Akesson told a party rally.
He had hoped to win the vote of one in five, or even one in four, Swedes, something that some polls had also predicted. The results, however, were closer to one in six.