Swedish premier to hand in resignation

Swedish centre-left Prime Minister Stefan Lofven will ask parliament's speaker on Wednesday to begin the formal process of finding his replacement, with Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson his most likely successor, News.Az reports citing Reuters. 

Lofven, a former welder and union negotiator, has headed a minority coalition since 2014 and declared earlier this year that he would step down ahead of the next general election, due in September 2022.

A spokeswoman for Lofven said he would hand in his resignation at 1130 GMT.

Last week, the Social Democrats picked Andersson to replace Lofven as party leader and she is likely to be the speaker's first choice to form a new government.

If Andersson becomes prime minister, she will be the first woman to hold the post in Sweden. However, a fragmented parliament means passing a confirmation vote - probably some time next week - is not a given.

While Andersson does not need a majority to back her as prime minister, she must avoid a majority in the 349-seat parliament voting against her.

The Centre Party - a member of a right-of-centre government from 2006 to 2014 - agreed on Wednesday not to block Andersson in return for easier building regulations and changes to forestry ownership laws.

But Andersson will still need at least passive support from the formerly communist Left Party, whose leader, Nooshi Dadgostar, has demanded a say on policy as the price for support.

Yet if Andersson promises that, she risks losing the backing of the Centre Party, a party with deep centre-right agrarian roots, which wants to exclude the Left from any influence over government.

Neither party is a member of the ruling coalition of the Social Democrats and Greens.

Lofven will lead a caretaker government until a new prime minister is installed.

News.Az 

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