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Sweden's PM to announce government October

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt turns to the Greens to avoid collaboration with the far-right.

Swedish election result a nightmare scenario
Coalition talks in Sweden to block out far-right

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt pleaded for calm Monday after being re-elected at the head of a minority government and said he had until early October to announce his government.

In Sunday's vote, Reinfeldt's four-party centre-right Alliance fell three seats short of a majority in the Riksdag, where the far-right Sweden Democrats were set to hold the balance of power with 20 members of parliament.

"We have obviously had a lot of questions on how this electoral result would be managed," Reinfeldt told reporters, stressing that "there is no need to use words like chaos."

He cautioned that the final results of the vote were not yet known since ballots from abroad will be counted until Wednesday.

The 45-year-old newly re-elected premier said he could wait until the beginning of October to make his government known. The next parliamentary session opens on October 4 with a role-call of new members, and the speaker would announce the government on October 5.

"My intention is to use the upcoming period to work through the challenges for Sweden. A clear presentation of the government needs to be made available by the beginning of October," he told reporters.

"We need a discussion, to let the election results sink in," he added.

Reinfeldt on Sunday said he would turn to the Greens to avoid a collaboration with the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats.

On Monday he said he had not yet held talks with the Greens, now Sweden's third largest party with 25 seats.

Co-chairwoman Maria Wetterstrand on Monday stressed the Greens, which campaigned with the leftwing oppostion, did not think its voters would approve of it entering into talks with the government.

"We have not received a mandate from our voters to launch negotiations with the Alliance," she told reporters.

The Greens other co-chairman Peter Eriksson meanwhile called on Reinfeldt to hold talks with all the leftwing parties, including the Social Democrats and the formerly communist Left Party.

"The responsibility to manage this situation lays with the seven parties (besides the Sweden Democrats in parliament), not just with one," he told reporters.

"It would be strange if the largest party in parliament (the Social Democrats) were not included in the discussion," he said.

The Social Democrats, historically the dominant force in Swedish politics, remained parliament's largest party after Sunday's vote, but acheived their worst score since 1914 in what the press described as the "end of an era."


Last Updated (Monday, 20 September 2010 17:36)


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