Sweden's conservative party picks new leader

Sweden's main conservative party, which in 2014 lost the prime minister's post that it had held for eight years, has chosen a new leader who hopes to bring the opposition party back into power in next year's election.

Party delegates for the Moderate Party voted unanimously Sunday to elect Ulf Kristersson to replace Anna Kinberg Batra, who announced in August she would step down. Kristersson, a 53-year-old lawmaker, has served as minister for Sweden's social security agency from 2010 to 2014 and has held several key posts in the Moderate Party.

Kinberg Batra took over as the Moderate chairman in 2015 but soon faced criticism over her style and her failure to increase the party's popularity in opinion polls.

Sweden's current government is lead by the Social Democrats.