Swedish parliament rejects proposed government

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Swedish lawmakers have rejected a proposed minority coalition of the second largest party, the center-right Moderates, and the small Christian Democrats, leaving the country still without a new government since Sept. 9 elections.

Ulf Kristersson, the Moderates leader and likely prime minister, lost the 195-154 vote in the 349-seat Parliament.

Those opposing the coalition said it would mean giving influence to the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats — Sweden’s third largest party but considered a pariah by many — because the government would be dependent on its support in parliament.

Wednesday’s vote was the first of a possible four before Parliament Speaker Andreas Norlen must call new elections.

The September vote produced a hung parliament with neither the left-leaning side nor the center-right bloc securing a majority.