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Sweden Liberals seek Alliance government, won't work with nationalists

Jan Bjorklund, Party leader of the Liberal Party arrives at the polling station at Norra Angby school in Stockholm to cast his vote during general election day in Sweden, September 9, 2018. TT News/Hanna Franzen via REUTERS

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The leader of Sweden’s Liberal Party, Jan Bjorklund, said on Sunday he wanted a centre-right Alliance government but that it would not come as a result of any cooperation with the unaligned, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats.

“I want an Alliance government, but it will not happen in cooperation with the Sweden Democrats,” Bjorklund told a party rally.

The Liberals are part of the four-party Alliance, which was running neck-and-neck with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s centre-left bloc with only just over 100 of 6,004 districts left to be counted.

With all parties ruling out collaborating with the Sweden Democrats, the centrist Liberals could be key in efforts to form a government in a fragmented parliament.

Sunday’s election as expected showed gains by the unaligned anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, leaving both the centre-right and ruling centre-left party blocs well shy of a majority.

Reporting by Stockholm newsroom