Sweden Hopes a Christmas Break Will Solve Its Government Crisis

(Bloomberg) -- After three months of gridlock, Sweden still doesn’t have a government. Now, party leaders will get a three-week respite in the hope that they can come back with a solution.

Parliament speaker Andreas Norlen said on Wednesday that he will meet again with party leaders on Jan. 14 and called for a prime minister vote two days later. If that fails, a final and fourth premier vote would then be held on Jan. 23 in a last ditch effort to avoid a new election.

Sweden Hopes a Christmas Break Will Solve Its Government Crisis

“An extra election would be a big failure for Swedish politics,” Norlen said at a press conference at parliament. There’s a risk that confidence in the system will be “seriously damaged,” he said.

The Nordic country has historically had a government in place less than a week after the election but the rise of the nationalist Sweden Democrats has left the traditional blocs without a majority. Both sides are also reluctant to discuss any type of cooperation with the Sweden Democrats, a party with neo-Nazi roots.

Sweden Hopes a Christmas Break Will Solve Its Government Crisis

The speaker is now seeking to loosen up the deadlock by setting dates for the final two votes that will need to be held before a snap election is triggered.

So far, both acting Social Democratic leader Stefan Lofven and Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson have lost votes.

As leaders of the two biggest parties, it’s up to Kristersson and Lofven to now take responsibility over the process, Norlen said.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.