Rasmus Paludan, leader of the Danish far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party, burned a copy of the Quran at a protest outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm. Paludan is a citizen of both Sweden and Denmark. The Swedish Security Service has warned that Sweden may be vulnerable to increased security threats in response to the Quran burning. Paludan had earlier organized Quran-burning provocations in 2022, sparking riots, as well as protests by the Swedish Muslim community.
A new espionage law, which creates offences of “foreign espionage,” “aggravated foreign espionage” and “disclosing secret information in international cooperation,” has passed with a large majority in Sweden’s Parliament. The law will require changes in Sweden’s press and freedom of expression legislation. Disclosing secret information in specific situations related to Sweden’s international cooperation that could harm the country’s relationship with international organizations or other countries, could be a punishable crime. Jessica Wetterling, a Left Party Member of Parliament, argued that the new law will lead to uncertainty, self-censorship and will impact whistleblowing.
Following the results of the 2022 parliamentary election, Sweden’s parliament has elected Moderate Party’s Ulf Kristersson as Prime Minister. Although Kristersson’s party came in as the third largest vote winner in the election, his government – consisting of three centre-right coalition members – was formed with the agreement and support of the Sweden Democrats, a far-right anti-immigration party that came second in the election. The right-wing block will have 176 seats in Parliament, as opposed to the 173 seats of the left-wing.
Although the Social Democrats won the largest share of votes (30.3 per cent) in the Swedish parliamentary election of 11 September, the party and its allies did not secure enough votes to form a government, opening the door to a right-wing coalition government. The Sweden Democrats, considered a far-right party, went from a 5.7 per cent vote share in 2010 to 20.5 per cent vote share in 2022, becoming the second largest party in Sweden. This has moved the centre-right Moderates from the second to the third largest party in Sweden, as they received 19.1 per cent of the votes. As a result, the right-wing block will have 176 seats in parliament, as opposed to the 173 seats of the left-wing block. This has been considered a victory of the far-right movement in Sweden, as the Sweden Democrats have been regarded a populist and conservative party that mainly promotes a far-right anti-immigrant rhetoric. The voter turnout was 84.2 per cent.