UPDATED: Swedish PM Lofven says to step down in November

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Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of the Social Democrats party said unexpectedly on Sunday he would resign later this year ahead of general elections in September 2022.

“I have informed the party’s executive committee and the nomination committee’s chairman that I want to leave the role as party leader at the party congress in November and thereafter also retire as prime minister,” Lofven said in an annual summer speech.

Lofven, who has been prime minister since 2014, resigned in June after losing a no-confidence vote but got re-elected by parliament in July.

“In next year’s election campaign the Social Democrats will be led by someone else than me,” he said. “Everything has an end and I want to give my successor the very best conditions.”

He has been heading a weakened government since he was forced to seek new support in June. He is yet to find sufficient backing to pass a budget and said at the time he would resign once again if he failed to get his budget through parliament in the autumn.

The Social Democrats and junior government coalition partner the Green Party are due to present the 2022 budget proposal to parliament next month.

Photo: Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven. EPA-EFE/Jessica Gow