Sweden PM, lacking election majority, invites opposition to talks

Swedish Social Democratic Prime Minister Stefan Lofven invited the opposition to talks after both the left-wing and centre-right blocs failed to obtain a majority as the far-right made gains in Sunday's legislative elections.

"It is clear that no one has received a majority, so it's natural to have a cross-bloc cooperation," Lofven told supporters, after his bloc appeared to hold a one-seat lead over the centre-right opposition with votes in 99.8 per cent of districts counted.

"The voters have made their choice, now it's up to all of us decent parties to wait for the final result and then negotiate (and) cooperate to move Sweden forward in a responsible way," he added.

Defying calls by several leaders in the centre-right four-party Alliance, Lofven said he would "work calmly as prime minister with respect to the voters and Sweden's electoral system" for two more weeks until the new parliament opens.

The far-right Sweden Democrats, who have capitalised on voters' frustration over immigration after the country welcomed almost 400,000 asylum seekers since 2012, were seen making steady gains, rising from 12.9 per cent in 2014 to 17.6 per cent.

"I'm of course disappointed that a party (the Sweden Democrats) with roots in Nazism can win so much ground in our time," Lofven said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel