Far-right party with Neo-Nazi roots makes gains in Swedish elections

Far-right party with Neo-Nazi roots makes gains in Swedish elections

Far-right party with Neo-Nazi roots makes gains in Swedish elections

What happens now is that the political parties will engage in negotiations on how to form a coalition government, and the parliament will vote on who will be prime minister on the 25th of September.

The governing center-left bloc has a razor-thin edge over the center-right opposition Alliance, with roughly 40 percent each. This after an election campaign in which the Sweden Democrats were routinely branded as "racist" and "neo-Nazi" by their opponents-and by the global press.

Swedes yesterday voted in legislative elections, with a far-right surge expected if voters punish traditional parties over their failure to address immigration concerns.

There was a sense of relief among supporters of mainstream parties about the far-right's less dramatic gains.

The Sweden Democrats, led by Jimmie Akesson, links the country's rising crime rate to immigration, but official figures can't prove any correlation.

"We have increased our mandate in parliament and we see that we will have an vast influence on what is happening in Sweden in the next week, the next few months and the next few years", he told supporters. He has done a great deal to sanitise the party, kicking out radical members, he now believes the main parties need to look to them and do work with them.

"Beyond extra attention on Sweden's election results and their aftermath, the Sweden Democrats" biggest impact will be that they have shifted the terms of acceptable debate in this typically open, liberal country.

Beyond the Sweden Democrats, the ruling Social Democrats and Green Party both secured a lower vote share than in 2014, which was offset to some extent by the rise in support enjoyed by the Left (V).

Currently, Social Democrats leader and Prime Minister Stefan Lofven have a minuscule two-mandate lead over the centre-right opposition, with 144 seats against 142.

The party, with roots in the neo-Nazi movement, called the arrival of immigrants to Sweden a threat to the country's culture, European news network The Local reported.

Sweden is an old democracy, and people's trust to the system is deep-rooted. And as the complicated, likely drawn-out process of building a government begins, they're the bloc standing in each coalition's way of reaching a majority.

The Sweden Democrats, a party with white supremacist roots, came third with 17.6 percent, about 5 percentage points more than four years ago.

Sweden saw itself as a "humanitarian superpower" for years, but a rise in gang violence in areas of high unemployment has won support for the Sweden Democrats.

"The alliance will not govern or discuss how to form a government with the Sweden Democrats", Kristersson said. More Swedes than ever split their ballot: 30% chose different parties at the local, regional and national levels.

TRT World's Simon McGregor-Wood explains if Sweden is faced with a hung parliament after this election.

With an eye on the European Parliament elections next year, Brussels policymakers are watching the Swedish vote closely, concerned that a nation with impeccable democratic credentials could add to the growing chorus of euroscepticism in the EU. Moderate party secretary, Gunnar Strommer, said after the exit polls were published that he thinks "it's pretty clear" Lofven will need to resign.

But Kristersson and Christian Democrats leader Ebba Busch Thor rejected his invitation, according to Dagens Nyheter. Many allege that immigrants were behind the massive vehicle bombing spree in August, which saw 160 cars torched.

The prime minister must choose between: risking losing core voters by dealing with the party he calls racist; and bargaining, for the sake of his career.

The biggest victor of this election were the Sweden Democrats, a populist party whose program has a strong focus on nationalism and social conservatism. Instead, it told a more subtle but increasingly familiar tale now seen across a variety of European parliamentary systems and perhaps further afield, too - that of increasing political fragmentation and the slow decline of dominant political parties.

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