Swedish PM Lofven resigns in wake of no-confidence vote

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STOCKHOLM, June 28 (Reuters) – Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Monday he had handed in his notice of resignation, giving parliament’s speaker the job of finding a new premier after the Social Democrat leader lost a vote of no-confidence last week.

Lofven lost the confidence vote in parliament on June 21 after the Left Party withdrew its support, triggering frenzied talks as both the centre-left and centre-right tried to line up enough support to form a government.

He had until midnight tonight to find fresh backing in parliament, enabling him hand over the job of finding a new government to the speaker with the expectation of being reappointed, or to call a snap election.

Lofven, a former union boss and welder, has headed a fragile minority coalition with the Greens since 2018, relying on support from two small centre-right parties and the Left Party to remain in power.

The centre-left and centre-right blocs are now evenly balanced in parliament and opinion polls show a general election might not change the picture.

It took Lofven four months to form a government after 2018’s inconclusive election. (Reporting by Simon Johnson and Johan Ahlander; additional reporting by Anna Ringstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard)