September 13, 2017 / 12:37 PM / 2 months ago

Swedish opposition party to call vote of no-confidence in PM

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden’s anti-immigration Sweden Democrat party on Wednesday tabled a parliamentary vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, demanding his resignation in the aftermath of a scandal over leaks of sensitive material.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven attends a news conference at Rosenbad, the Swedish government headquarters, in Stockholm, Sweden July 27, 2017. TT News Agency/Erik Simander via REUTERS/Files

Lofven is almost certain to ride out the vote, which will take place on Sept. 15 at the earliest, as the main, centre-right opposition bloc has said it will not give its support.

But it will damage his standing just a year before the general election and ratchet up pressure on him to get rid of Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist, who has also been targeted by the Sweden Democrats over the IT scandal.

“The Prime Minister has talked about a breakdown, but he has not talked about the breakdown within his own government,” Parliament member Paula Bieler said.

If the Sweden Democrats’ attempt to unseat Lofven fails, they will call for a no-confidence motion in Hultqvist. The centre-right Alliance bloc has also said it will table a motion of no-confidence in Hultqvist.

If Hultqvist is forced to resign, he would be the third minister to fall victim to the IT scandal.

No-confidence motions are rare in Swedish politics. Since 1980, only seven have taken place and none one has succeeded.

Reporting by Johan Sennero; editing by Larry King

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