All you need to know about the Swedish parliamentary elections
The Scandinavian country of Sweden goes into polls on Sunday later this week to choose a new government. The ruling left-wing minority government of Social Democrats is up against the Moderates and the Sweden Democrats who find themselves on the centre-right and far-right end of the political spectrums, respectively.
For decades, the Social Democrats have dominated the political landscape of Sweden. However, the equations are not so simple this time.
Immigration has become a central theme in the elections and the far-right leaders have managed to sway the masses into their corner by dubbing the immigrants as the root cause of the problems, plaguing the western European country.
With West Asia and Africa constantly in turmoil, refugees from countries like Syria and Libya have started to migrate in large swathes to Western Europe, especially in Germany, France, and Belgium. Sweden hasn't been left behind either.
Sweden, which largely has been a peace-loving nation found itself in news for the rise of radical Islam. In 2020, the city of Malmo witnessed riots where radical Islamists went on a rampage and razed public property, destroyed police cars, and pelted stones on the law and order officers.
Since then, the far-right parties have seized on the initiative and looked to corner the ruling political class for its pro-immigration stance. Meanwhile, the Social Democrats, time and again have brought up the neo-Nazi past of the Sweden Democrats.
Sweden's first female Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, who assumed the chair after Stefan Löfven lost a no-confidence motion last year in June has a tough task in hand. Andersson is a popular face but the rise of Sweden Democrats threatens her re-election bid.
The Swedish general elections take place every four years to elect 349 members who sit in the Swedish parliament, also called the Riksdag. It is pertinent to note that alongside the parliamentary elections, regional and municipal elections are also taking place.
The voting has already begun as Swedish voters can vote in the Swedish embassies overseas. However, the turnout has been low so far.
Furthermore, Sweden is currently on 'high alert' as it fears increased interference in the election due to its altercations with Russia.
In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin had shot a warning message to the Nordic country if it allowed NATo to set up military infrastructure in the country.
“If Finland and Sweden wish to, they can join. That’s up to them. They can join whatever they want. However, if military contingents and military infrastructure were deployed there, we would be obliged to respond symmetrically and raise the same threats for those territories where threats have arisen for us." said Putin.
It has been documented well that Russia interfered in the 2016 US Presidential elections. At the time as well, a party and a leader that batted against immigrants were in the fray with an outside chance of winning. Russian interference made sure that Trump came to power.
The ruling class believes that Russia can do the same here. Consequently, the psychological defence agency has been re-activated.