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Sweden Travel Guide
Modern Political System of Sweden

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Constitutionally, the 349-member Riksdag (Parliament) holds supreme authority in modern Sweden. The Riksdag is responsible for choosing the prime minister, who then appoints the government. The legislative power is then shared between the parliament and the Prime Minister led government. The executive power is exercised by the government, while the judiciary is independent. Sweden lacks compulsory judicial review, although the non-compulsory review carried out by Law Council is mostly respected in technical matters but less so in controversial political matters. Acts of the parliament and government decrees can be made inapplicable at every level if they are manifestly against constitutional laws. However, due to the restrictions in this form of judicial review and a weak judiciary, this has had little practical consequence.

Legislation may be initiated by the cabinet or by members of Parliament. Members are elected on the basis of proportional representation for a four-year term. The Constitution of Sweden can be altered by the Riksdag, which requires a simple but absolute majority and two decisions with general elections in between. Sweden has three other constitutional laws: the Act of Royal Succession, the Freedom of Press Act and the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression.

The Swedish Social Democratic Party has played a leading political role since 1917, after Reformists had confirmed their strength and the revolutionaries left the party. After 1932, the cabinets have been dominated by the Social Democrats. Only four general elections (1976, 1979, 1991 and 2006) have given the centre-right bloc enough seats in Parliament to form a government. However, poor economic performance since the beginning of the 1970s, and especially the crisis at the beginning of the 1990s, have forced Sweden to reform its political system to become more like other European countries. In the 2006 general election the Moderate Party, allied with the Centre Party, Liberal People's Party, and the Christian Democrats, with a common political platform, won a majority of the votes. Together they have formed a majority government under the leadership of the Moderate party's leader Fredrik Reinfeldt. The next elections will be held in September 2010.

Election turnout in Sweden has always been high by international comparison, although it has declined in recent decades, and is currently around 80% (80.11 in general election of 2002, 81.99 in general election of 2006). Swedish politicians enjoyed a high degree of confidence from the citizens in the 1960s but it has since declined steadily and has a markedly lower level of trust than its Scandinavian neighbours.

Some Swedish political figures that have become known worldwide include Raoul Wallenberg, Folke Bernadotte, former Secretary General of the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld, former Prime Minister Olof Palme, former Prime Minister and Foreign minister Carl Bildt, former President of the General Assembly of the United Nations Jan Eliasson, and former International Atomic Energy Agency Iraq inspector Hans Blix.

Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia

 




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