Swedish Liberal Party's Jan Bjorklund, Left Party's Jonas Sjostedt, Centre Party's Annie Loof and Sweden Democrats' Jimmie Akesson, Stockholm, 2018.
(photo credit: TT NEWS AGENCY/STINA STJERNKVIST/VIA REUTERS)
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said Sunday that he would not leave his post despite calls for the Social Democratic Party leader's resignation in the midst of the country's heated election battle.
Speaking at a party rally Monday, Lofven pledged to continue to "work calmly, as prime minister, respecting voters and the Swedish electoral system." He also invited both sides of the political divide to work together and cooperate after the difficult elections.
Lovfen's words came in response to a statement by the chairman of Sweden's Moderate Party Ulf Kristersson calling for the prime minister's ouster.
Early indications in the contentious election show a surge of support for the extreme right-wing Sweden Democratic Party, who are known for their anti-immigration stance and a history of support for white supremacy. The party's ascendancy, which has shocked the stereotypical liberal country, comes amid fears over rising immigration.
Swedish Democrat leader Jimmie Akesson has stated that the party "will gain huge influence over what happens in Sweden," with hopes to leave the European Union and stop immigration.Reuters contributed to this report.