Swedish PM Stefan Lofven calls off snap election after deal with centre-right

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven listens to professors of the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga on Oct 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven listens to professors of the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga on Oct 21, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

STOCKHOLM (REUTERS) - Swedish centre-left Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Saturday his government had reached a deal with the mainstream opposition that would allow the minority coalition of the Social Democrats and Greens to continue in power. "This agreement means that Sweden can be governed even in a difficult parliamentary situation," Lofven said.

The deal will sideline the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats who hold the balance of power in parliament.

Lofven had planned to call a snap vote for March 22 after losing a budget vote in December when the Sweden Democrats backed an alternative finance bill put forward by the four-party centre right Alliance opposition.