Sweden’s new Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has called for snap elections, the country’s first in nearly 60 years, after a populist anti-immigration party trashed his attempt to build support for his first budget proposal.
The decision was announced Wednesday, a day after the Sweden Democrat party chose to back the opposition’s alternative budget, a move almost unheard of in a country long known to seek broad, political consensus, Wall Street Journal reports.
Lofven’s minority government, formed between his Swedish Social Democratic Party and the Green Party after the election on Sept. 14, was weak from the start. He has since reached out to center-right parties to find support for his budget, but the Sweden Democrats, who placed third in the election, were systematically shut out of the discussions.
This week, the Sweden Democrats said they planned to derail future budget proposals that continue current spending on immigration.
The snap election will be held on March 22.