Sweden is a constitutional monarchy based on parliamentary democracy. Sweden (official name: Kingdom of Sweden) is considered as world’s one of the most highly developed post-industrial societies. Sweden has not joined single European currency. King is the chief of state. The monarchy is hereditary.
King has only a ceremonial role. Following legislative elections, the Prime Minister is first appointed by the Speaker of Parliament and then confirmed by the parliament to serve a four-year term. King plays no part in this process. Prime Minister is the head of the government and enjoys all the executive powers of the government. The cabinet is appointed by the Prime Minister subject to approval of the parliament.
The legislature in Sweden is unicameral. The parliament called Riksdag has 349 seats, with its members elected by popular vote on a proportional representation basis to serve four-year terms. The executive branch of government is dependent on the support of the parliament, often expressed through a vote of confidence. The Prime minister can dissolve the parliament even after receiving a vote of no confidence except the first three months after an election. Legislative power is vested in both government and the parliament. The people of Sweden have considerable political rights.
Judiciary is completely independent in Sweden. The main source of the law in the country is the constitution of 1975. The legal system is based on civil law system influenced by customary law. Sweden accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations. Being a member of the European Union, the national law in Sweden needs to comply with the conditions of the Community legislation. Swedish is the judicial language used in the country; English is also widely used.
Sweden is ruled by law. Foreigners can be guaranteed an impartial trial from the country’s judicial system. Sweden is considered one of the least corrupt nations in the world; however instances of corruption in the country’s corporate sector do come across.
Major political parties
Sweden has a multi-party system, where no one party often has a chance of gaining power alone. Thus, they need to work with each other to form coalition governments. The main political parties in the country are:
- SAP (Swedish Social Democratic Party) – a social democratic party, its primarily support base consists of blue-collar workers, public sector employees and immigrants;
- Centre Party - social liberals, focusing on agricultural, environmental and rural issues;
- Christian Democratic Party- focusing on care for elderly & family values;
- Green Party - an environmentalist party that attracts young people, opposes EU membership;
- Left Party - a socialist and feminist political party, opposes privatization & EU membership;
- Liberal People’s Party - advocates social liberalism and is considered to be centre-right;
- Moderate Party – a liberal conservative party.
Major political leaders
King : CARL XVI GUSTAF (since September 1973) – hereditary
Prime Minister (outgoing): Goran PERSSON (since March 1996) – SAP
Prime Minister (incoming): Fredrik Reinfeldt (from October 2006) – Modern Party, heading a coalition with Centre Party, Liberal People's Party & Christian Democratic Party.
Next political election dates
Parliamentary : September 2006