Swedish center-right leader calls on PM Lofven to step down

The Moderaterna party leader Ulf Kristersson speaks at the election party at the Scandic Continental hotel in central Stockholm, Sweden September 9, 2018. TT News Agency/Henrik Montgomery/via REUTERS

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish center-right opposition leader Ulf Kristersson called on Social Democrat Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to step down on Sunday after preliminary election results showed his opposition Alliance coalition in a virtual dead heat with its center-left rivals.

“This government has run its course,” Kristersson told a party rally, referring to Lofven’s minority cabinet.

“Now it should resign.”

Kristersson is leader of the Moderates and the four-party center-right Alliance’s candidate for prime minister.

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

Reporting by Stockholm newsroom