Monday Speed Read

Swedish Voters Oust Center-Right Government
On Sunday, after eight years of tax cuts and welfare reform, Sweden voted out the center-right Alliance coalition, giving a plurality of the vote to the center-left Social Democrats. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said he will tender his and his governments resignations on Monday.

Stefan Löfven, the Social Democrat leader and probable next prime minister, faces a challenge in coalescing a working majority after the three center-left parties gained 158 seats in the 349-seat parliament, The Financial Times reports.

The Social Democrats got 31.1 percent of the vote, while Reinfeldt’s Moderate Party got only 23.2. With the Green Party and Left Party, the Social Democrats have 43.6 percent of the vote, versus 39.4 percent for conservative Alliance bloc. The big surprise of the election, unnerving for many Swedes, is the 13 percent garnered by the far-right anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party, which doubled its vote from four years ago.

Time For Muslims To Unite Against Terrorists – Columnist
London Telegraph columnist Boris Johnson writes that drones are insufficient to secure victory over terrorist groups and that it is time for Muslims to unite against these groups.

“The real tragedy of the emergence of Isil is that it has been connived at and almost certainly financed by some in rich Sunni states – Saudi Arabia, some Gulf states – who mistakenly see them (or saw them) as a counterweight to Shia influence in the region, in the form of Tehran and Hizbollah. It’s about geopolitical rivalries; and in the face of the horror emerging in Iraq and Syria, it is time for all Muslim states to put aside such differences, and to unite against a group that so grievously misrepresents Islam,” he argues.

Hope In Afghanistan
Michael Kugelman, Senior Program Associate for South and Southeast Asia at the Wilson Center, sees several reasons to maintain hope for a positive outcome to the current impasse in Afghanistan’s election crisis.

“Such doomsday talk makes for sexy headlines and engrossing dinner party debate. Yet this doesn’t mean Afghanistan is doomed. On the contrary, there is still hope for a positive outcome to the current impasse,” he writes.

What Kind Of Nation Would Scotland Be?
Fintan O’Toole of the Irish Times believes “Scotland’s situation at the point of potential independence is infinitely better than Ireland’s was in the 1920s,” primarily because it is not likely to result in violence.

“Whatever happens, Scotland will not suffer the consequences of partition which, in Ireland’s case, meant that ideals of a pluralist democracy were lost in the creation of two mutually exclusive sectarian states. And Scotland has, as Ireland did not have at independence, the context of a European Union, which, for all its faults, gives small nations a set of international institutions within which they can make themselves heard,” he adds.

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