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Sunday May 19th, 2019 12:49PM

The Latest: Swedish PM summons 'good forces' after setback

By The Associated Press
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STOCKHOLM (AP) — The Latest on Sweden's general election (all times local):

12:35 a.m.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven says he intends to remain in the job after his center-left party recorded its worst election performance.

Lofven, who brought the Social Democrats to power in 2014, said "the results are still unclear" from the election held Sunday, but acknowledged that forming the next government could take a while.

He sounded somber, but firm as he told supporters that "now it is up the political parties to cooperate responsibly and create a strong government."

Preliminary results from Sunday's election had Lofven's party receiving 28.1 percent of the vote, which was estimated to translate into a loss of 13 seats in Sweden's 175-seat parliament, the Riksdagen.

Responding to the increase in support that could give the far-right Sweden Democrats 14 more seats, Lofven said "a party with roots in Nazism" would "never ever offer anything responsible, but hatred."

He said of the weeks ahead: "We have a moral responsibility. We must gather all good forces. We won't mourn, we will organize ourselves."

___

11:30 p.m.

The leader of the party that was poised to place second in Sweden's general election says he has secured a mandate to form a new government and the sitting prime minister should resign.

Ulf Kristersson, the head of the Moderates, told supporters on Sunday night that a four-party opposition alliance in parliament "is clearly the largest and the government should resign."

With most ballots from Sunday's election counted, the Moderates had 19.2 percent of the vote. The ruling Social Democrats led by Prime Minister Stefan Lofven had 28.1 percent, and the far-right Sweden Democrats 17.9 percent.

Kristersson said: "We have gone the first round for creating a new government."

Both major blocs in parliament said before the election they wouldn't include the anti-immigration party as a coalition partner.

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10:55 p.m.

The leader of a far-right party that campaigned with an anti-migrant message says the party has "won" Sweden's national election.

Returns reported by the Scandinavian country's election commission showed the Sweden Democrats placing third in the parliamentary election held Sunday.

Addressing supporters after more than four-fifths of ballots were counted, party leader Jimmie Akesson said the victory was in the number of seats the party gained in the national assembly, the Riksdagen.

Akesson told the crowd chanting his first name: "No one can take that from us."

He says he is interested in cooperating with other parties and wants to tell the head of the party that came in second, the Moderates, "how to govern the country."

___

10:05 p.m.

A preliminary count from Sweden's general election showed an anti-immigrant party with a neo-Nazi past placing third and the ruling center-left party making its worst showing in decades with more than half of the ballots tallied.

Sweden's national election commission reported the governing Social Democrats had 28.1 percent of the vote at a little past the midway point in the vote count from Sunday's election. The count showed the Moderates next with 19.2 percent, and the far-right Sweden Democrats getting 17.9.

It was unlikely any single party would secure a majority of the 175 seats in the Riksdagen, Sweden's parliament. It could take weeks or months of coalition talks before the next government is formed.

Both the left-leaning bloc led by the Social Democrats and the center-right bloc have said they would refuse to consider the Sweden Democrats as a potential coalition partner.

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This item has been corrected to show the ruling party represents the center-left, not center-right.

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8:05 p.m.

An exit poll is projecting that nearly one in five Swedish voters backed an anti-immigrant party with white supremacist roots in the Scandinavian country's election.

However, Swedish broadcaster SVT said its poll from Sunday's election indicates that the center-left Social Democrats governing Sweden now would remain the largest party in parliament.

The poll projects that the ruling party received 26.2 percent of the vote.

If the exit poll results carry over to the official count, the far right Sweden Democrats would be the second-largest party in parliament. The poll gave the party 19.2 percent of the vote.

___

4:15 p.m.

Swedish media are reporting that voters and journalists were harassed at several polling places by members of a neo-Nazi movement, including some running in the parliamentary election.

The Svenska Dagbladet newspaper said the Nordic Resistance Movement members entered voting stations and attempted to take photos of voters, voting slips and journalists.

The newspaper says such incidents have caused anxiety at balloting locations in Boden, Ludvika and Kungalv.

Svenska Dagbladet also reported that the far-right Alternative for Sweden party raised alleged election breaches by "shouting loud" on social media as soon as polls opened on Sunday.

Separately, Swedish tabloid Expressen interviewed a representative of the right-wing Sweden Democrats. Emilia Orpana said she and another party supporter were threatened by two young men who called them "damned racists."

___

3 p.m.

Voters in Sweden appear to be split in an unpredictable general election that may turn into one of the most thrilling races in the Scandinavian country's history for decades amid heated debate on immigration.

Latest opinion polls suggest the ruling Social Democrats led by Prime Minister Stefan Lofven would substantially lose seats at the Parliament but would still win ahead of the far-right and anti-immigration Sweden Democrats the popularity of which has steadily risen since the 2014 election.

Its strong rhetoric has shocked many Swedes. Voter Veronica Lundqvist said the party led by Jimmie Akesson is saying "awful things" about migrants, while Karl Ljung said Sweden has an "integration issue" with migrants that needs solving.

Sunday's vote is first since the nation of 10 million accepted 163,000 migrants in 2015. While far less than what Germany took in that year, it was the most per capita of any European nation.

___

8 a.m.

Polls have opened in Sweden's general election in what is expected to be one of the most unpredictable and thrilling races in the Scandinavian country for decades amid heated debate on immigration.

Sunday's election will be Sweden's first since the government in 2015 allowed 163,000 migrants into the country of 10 million. While far less than what Germany took in that year, it was the most per capita of any European nation. It's highly unlikely that any single party will get a majority, or 175 seats.

The latest opinion poll suggests that Prime Minister Stefan Lofven's ruling Social Democrats will substantially lose seats but still emerge a winner with an estimated 24.9 percent of the votes.

The polls showed far-right, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats would get 19.1 percent of the votes.

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