I was reading about the 2018-2019 Swedish government crisis and something caught my interest.

The short story is that after the 2018 general election, the Swedish parliament took almsot 4 months to elect a new government - a historically long record for the country.

During this time, the incumbent government was ousted by a no-confidence vote right after the election, meaning that they have to serve in caretaker capacity until its successor is elected. The Swedish constitution also prevents the government from dissolving the parliament for the first three months after the election (Chapter 3, Article 11) to prevent bad-faith dissolution by a losing government.

The question then becomes, what happens when the Swedish parliament took longer than three months to elect the new government (as is the case during the government crisis)? Is the caretaker government allowed to dissolve the parliament?

It would seem highly undemocratic if the caretaker government is allowed to do this since it has lost the confidence of parliament. Not to mention that the parliament could still potentially elect the caretaker government's opponent as new government. Perhaps the Swedish constitution simply did not expect this scenario to happen?

TLDR: Can the Swedish government dissolve the parliament while serving as caretaker government?

1 Answer 1


Short answer: It can not.

I have a hard time finding an actual law stating this, but this text from swedish parliaments (riksdagen) web site says:

Vad får en övergångsregering göra och inte göra? En övergångsregering har i princip samma befogenheter som en vanlig regering men den får inte utlysa extra val. I praktiken brukar dock en övergångsregering endast fatta beslut i löpande ärenden, den brukar enligt praxis inte ta några nya politiska initiativ.

My translation of the first paragraph below:

What may and may not a caretaker government do? A caretaker government has the same authorities as a normal government in principal, but it may not announce extraordinary elections.

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