Image: Fredrik Reinfeldt
Pontus Lundahl  /  Reuters
Sweden’s Moderate Party leader Fredrik Reinfeldt waves to cheering supporters at the party's post-election vigil in Stockholm on Sunday.
updated 9/17/2006 7:01:16 PM ET 2006-09-17T23:01:16

Sweden’s center-right opposition alliance declared victory Sunday after nearly complete official results showed it narrowly defeating the governing Social Democrats in parliamentary elections. Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson conceded defeat and said his government would resign.

The four-party opposition led by Fredrik Reinfeldt was hoping to break the Social Democrats’ 12-year grip on power with vows to trim and improve the famed Scandinavian welfare state.

“It was teamwork that helped us win,” Moderate Party leader Reinfeldt said after nearly complete official results showed his bloc slightly ahead of a leftist bloc led by the Social Democratic government.

With votes from 95 percent of districts counted, Reinfeldt’s alliance was leading by 1.3 percentage points, the results showed.

Persson, who had led a Social Democratic government for 10 years, said his government would resign and he would also step down as party leader in March.

“We have lost the election, but we are not a defeated party,” he said.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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