Swedish government averts political crisis with last-minute deal

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Sweden’s government said Tuesday it had clinched a last-minute deal to ensure its justice minister would survive a no-confidence vote in parliament, averting a political crisis.

The deal stems from winning the support of an independent lawmaker who is determined that Stockholm does not cave into Turkish conditions for supporting Sweden’s bid to join NATO.

The potential crisis comes just three months ahead of general elections and less than a year after the Social Democratic government was toppled and then returned to power within weeks. The no-confidence vote, which is scheduled to be held in parliament at 12:00 pm (1000 GMT), was launched by the far-right Sweden Democrats who accuse Justice Minister Morgan Johansson of failing to stem rising gang violence.

Sweden has struggled to reduce the shootings and bombings that have plagued the country in recent years, usually due to gangland rivalries or organised criminals battling over the drug market. “We have reached a point where the single most important crime policy measure is to give Morgan Johansson an early retirement,” Sweden Democrat MP Henrik Vinge told parliament last week. The conservative Moderate Party along with the Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats had announced that they would support the motion.

Those four parties control 174 seats in parliament but they needed one more vote for the motion to pass.—AFP

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