Conservative Sweden Democrats to join governing coalition

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced her resignation this week after an election that saw the conservative Sweden Democrat party make major gains. 

According to German news broadcaster DW, Swedish voters decided this past Sunday to support a coalition of right-wing parties. One of them is the Moderate Party, which is led by Ulf Kristersson.

The first time that Sweden Democrats will take part in a governing coalition

“I will now start the work of forming a new government that can get things done, a government for all of Sweden and all citizens,” Kristersson was quoted as saying. As head of the coalition’s largest party, Kristersson is expected to be sworn in as Sweden’s new prime minister.

Yet as Reuters noted, it is the Sweden Democrats who garnered the most attention, as this represents the first time the party will be admitted into a governing coalition.

Party leader Jimmie Akesson was quoted as saying that he wished to be “a constructive and driving force” and pledged to “put Sweden first.”

“Now it will be enough with the failed Social Democratic policy that for eight years has continued to lead the country in the wrong direction,” Akesson declared.

“It is time to start rebuilding security, welfare and cohesion,” he continued, adding, “Now the work begins to make Sweden good again.”

Reuters noted that although the Sweden Democrats were associated with neo-Nazis in the 1980s, the party has since adopted mainstream conservative positions on crime and immigration.

Sweden has seen violent crime escalate

Much of its growth seems linked to the rising levels of violent crime that Sweden has experienced in recent years. A 2020 Reuters report detailed how the country witnessed 257 bomb attacks in 2019, up from 162 the previous year.

“This government has lost control over crime in Sweden,” Kristersson said at the time. “We have seen in recent years how the number of fatalities has increased. Now bomb blasts are also increasing in a way that lacks international equivalence.”

The attacks included a bombing in June of 2019 which saw 20 people wounded in the southern Swedish town of Linkoping.