Swedish Centre Party to drop rent reforms, PM could form new government


STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -Sweden’s Centre Party said it is ready to drop its demand that the government coalition pursues reform of the rental market, a plan which led parliament to pass a vote of no-confidence in the Prime Minister.

The Left Party triggered the vote of no-confidence in Stefan Lofven this week over the proposal and dropping it could mean he can regain their support, allowing him to form a new government.

Centre Party leader Annie Loof said in a statement on Wednesday that the proposal did not have support in parliament and therefore was “not on the table anymore”.

Lofven has led a fragile minority government of Social Democrats and Greens, supported by former political rivals the Centre Party and the Liberals, since 2018.

He has also needed backing from the Left Party to pass budgets, but it said last week it could not stomach a plan to ease rent controls for new-build apartments which had been agreed by the government and the Centre and Liberal parties.

The Left Party joined Monday’s vote to oust Lofven but leader Nooshi Dadgostar said her party wanted Lofven back – minus the plan to ease rents.

After losing the vote, Lofven had a week to resign or call a new election. If he can get sufficient backing, the speaker of Sweden’s parliament could ask him to form a new government.

Even if the Left Party gets back on board, he still needs support from the Liberal Party, which abstained in the vote of no-confidence.

(Reporting by Stockholm Newsroom;Editing by Alexander Smith)

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