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Sweden opposition Christian Democrats, far right to support no confidence vote in defence minister

Sweden's Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist attends a news conference at Rosenbad, the Swedish government headquarters, in Stockholm, Sweden July 27, 2017. TT News Agency/Erik Simander via REUTERS

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The leaders of two Swedish opposition parties said on Thursday they would support a no confidence vote against Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist after he remained in his post in Thursday’s cabinet reshuffle.

The leader of the centrist Christian Democrats, Ebba Busch Thor, and the leader of the far-right Swedish Democrats, Jimmie Akesson, said on Twitter they would support the motion.

“I will handle that if and when it happens,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said regarding the vote, saying the opposition should think hard about going ahead with the vote.

“It is important for the members of parliament that are going to push the button ... that this is the responsibility they have taken upon themselves,” he said.

Lofven on Thursday reshuffled his minority left-green government in response to a scandal over the outsourcing of IT services, shunning the more drastic option of calling an early election.

Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom, Helena Soderpalm and Johan Ahlander, writing by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Alison Williams