Sweden’s parliament elects conservative prime minister

Oct 17, 2022, 8:12 AM | Updated: 8:22 am

Ulf Kristersson who has been elected as Sweden's new Prime Minister gestures, in Stockholm, Monday,...

Ulf Kristersson who has been elected as Sweden's new Prime Minister gestures, in Stockholm, Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. The Swedish parliament has elected Ulf Kristersson — the conservative Moderate Party leader — as prime minister at the head of a coalition that is being supported by a once radical far-right party. (Anders Wiklund/TT News Agency via AP)

(Anders Wiklund/TT News Agency via AP)

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden’s parliament on Monday elected conservative leader Ulf Kristersson as prime minister at the head of a center-right coalition that has promised to crack down on crime and curtail immigration in partnership with a populist party with far-right roots.

Kristersson, 58, was elected in a 176-173 vote and will present his government on Tuesday.

His three-party coalition secured a majority in the 349-seat Riksdag, or parliament, after the Sept. 11 election by teaming up with the Sweden Democrats, a party founded by right-extremists in the 1980s. The party has softened its image and moved toward the mainstream, but was until recently considered too radical to work with by all other parliamentary groups.

Kristersson presented a deal last week whereby his conservative Moderate Party will form a government with the smaller Christian Democrats and Liberals, while coordinating government policies closely with the Sweden Democrats, which won 20% of the vote to become Sweden’s second-biggest party.

They agreed on a common platform that included making it harder for asylum-seekers to stay in Sweden and easier for authorities to deport foreign nationals with links to criminal gangs. Gang violence has become a major concern in Sweden, particularly in neighborhoods dominated by immigrants, and is considered a key reason for the country’s shift to the right.

“It feels great, I am grateful,” Kristersson told reporters in Stockholm after the vote. “I am happy about the trust that I have received from the Riksdag. I am also humbled by the tasks that lie ahead of us.”

Kristersson, who has led the Moderates since 2017, will take over the prime minister’s post from Magdalena Andersson, the leader of the center-left Social Democrats, which are now in opposition after eight years in power.

The Social Democrats and other opposition parties have criticized the incoming coalition for opening the door to the Sweden Democrats. Nooshi Dadgostar, the leader of the former communist Left Party, said her parents who fled from Iran could never have imagined that Sweden would embark on an authoritarian path.

“What is happening now in Sweden is frightening,” she told parliament before the vote.

Since the election, the Sweden Democrats have landed the chairmanships of four parliamentary committees, giving it the ability to wield more influence.

In addition to immigration and criminal justice, the incoming coalition has agreed to work with the Sweden Democrats on other areas such as energy, including efforts to expand nuclear power.

The change in government isn’t expected to affect Sweden’s historic bid to join NATO with neighboring Finland, which was endorsed by a clear majority in parliament following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

___ Jan M. Olsen contributed to this report from Copenhagen, Denmark.


This story has been corrected to show that Kristersson’s age is 58, not 59.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Republican presidential candidates, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, talking with forme...

Associated Press

The GOP debate field was asked about Trump. But most of the stage’s attacks focused on Nikki Haley

The four Republican presidential candidates debating Wednesday night mostly targeted each other instead of Donald Trump.

4 days ago

Law enforcement officers head into the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, campus after reports of an ...

Associated Press

Police say 3 dead, fourth wounded and shooter also dead in University of Nevada, Las Vegas attack

Police said a suspect was found dead Wednesday as officers responded to an active shooter and reports of multiple victims at UNLV.

4 days ago

President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, leaves after a court appearance, July 26, 2023, in Wilming...

Associated Press

Republicans threaten contempt proceedings if Hunter Biden refuses to appear for deposition

House Republicans are threatening to hold Hunter Biden in contempt if he does not show up this month for a closed-door deposition.

4 days ago

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., listens to a question during a news conference, March 30, 2022, in W...

Associated Press

Tuberville is ending blockade of most military nominees, clearing way for hundreds to be approved

Sen. Tommy Tuberville announced Tuesday that he's ending his blockade of hundreds of military promotions, following heavy criticism.

5 days ago

An employee works inside the Hanwha Qcells Solar plant on Oct. 16, 2023, in Dalton, Ga. On Tuesday,...

Associated Press

US job openings fall to lowest level since March 2021 as labor market cools

U.S. employers posted 8.7 million job openings in October, the fewest since March 2021, in a sign that hiring is cooling.

5 days ago

Megyn Kelly poses at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast, Dec. 7,...

Associated Press

The fourth GOP debate will be a key moment for the young NewsNation cable network

By airing the fourth Republican presidential debate, NewsNation network will almost certainly reach the largest audience in its history.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @iamdamonallred...

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Follow @KTAR923...

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.


Dierdre Woodruff

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Sweden’s parliament elects conservative prime minister