Swedish general elections underway

The Swedish general elections were underway on Sunday across the country amid uncertainty about the extent of the predicted rise of the far right.

The polling stations opened at 8 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m.. Seven million voters can cast their ballots that will elect a new Riksdag or Swedish parliament, reports Efe news.

The Swedes will also vote on Sunday in local elections and attention will be focussed on the two big parties including the far right Sweden Democrats (SD).

The outgoing government, headed by the Social Democrat Kjell Stefan Löfven, is a coalition between the Social Democratic Party and the Greens, with external support of the ex-communists.

The three parties together had won nearly 44 per cent of the votes in the last elections held four years ago.

Polls now point to a more complicated situation since almost all of them have put the SD in second place with close to 20 per cent, ahead of the conservatives and 5-6 points of the Social Democrats.

The Swedish far right, which has benefited from the crisis led by the wave of refugees arriving in recent years, aims to strengthen its role as arbiter and break through the growing isolation to which it had been relegated.

Another issue that divides the SD further from other parties is its position in favour of exiting the European Union.

--IANS

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