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Stefan Löfven: Swedish caretaker PM faces parliament vote to form new government

Sweden's parliament will vote on Wednesday to decide if the caretaker prime minister Stefan Löfven can lead a new government.

Löfven moved a step closer to forming a coalition after the country’s parliamentary speaker said the former PM had enough backing to form a two-party Cabinet.

The leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party told speaker Andreas Norlén that he could find the necessary support in the 349-seat Riksdag.

A vote in parliament on his government is set for Wednesday, and Löfven is then expected to present his government on Friday.

"Stefan Löfven has a solution that can be tolerated by the Riksdag,” Norlén told a news conference on Monday. "I will therefore appoint him as a prime ministerial candidate.”

Two groups in Sweden's parliament -- the Centre party and Left party -- will likely abstain from voting, while the Swedish Green Party could back Löfven.

This would give the caretaker PM 175 seats, the exact number needed to secure a majority.

Löfven resigned as prime minister after losing a historic no-confidence vote on June 21 over proposed legislation to tackle a housing shortage.

Until then, he headed a minority government made up of a coalition between the Social Democratic and the Greens.

Löfven, who has served as Sweden’s head of government since 2014, has remained as caretaker prime minister until a new government is established.

Instead of calling an early election, the former PM chose to open coalition talks, which are overseen by Sweden's parliamentary speaker.

Löfven was asked to return as Sweden's prime minister after the opposition Moderates party failed to find support to lead a government

Ulf Kristersson, leader of the party, said last week that could only rely on the support of 174 Swedish lawmakers.

If the Swedish Social Democrat leader is not backed in the vote, the country may be forced to hold snap elections for the first time since 1958.

Löfven only returned as Sweden's Prime Minister in 2019 after four months of negotiations following the 2018 parliamentary elections.

In Sweden, the next general election is scheduled to be held on September 11, 2022.

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