Sweden’s Prime Minister Resigns Just Hours After Being Elected

Sweden's Prime Minister Resigns Just Hours After Being Elected
Image Source – FinancialTimes

The first female Swedish prime minister resigns just hours after being elected.

On Wednesday, Magdalena Andersson was named leader, but she resigned after her coalition partner withdrew and her budget failed to pass.

Instead, parliament approved a budget proposed by the opposition, which includes far-right anti-immigrant groups. Ms Andersson told reporters, “I have notified the speaker that I desire to retire.”

The Green Party’s coalition partner stated that a budget “written for the first time with the far-right” could not be accepted.

Ms Andersson noted that she intended to run for Prime Minister again as the leader of a single-party administration.

On Wednesday, the Social Democrat remarked, “There is a constitutional norm that a coalition government should dissolve when one party exits.” “I don’t want to be in charge of a government whose legitimacy is called into doubt.”

On the next step, the speaker of parliament indicated he would call party leaders. Ms Andersson was elected prime minister earlier on Wednesday since she required a majority of MPs to vote in her favour under the Swedish legislation.

Sections of Sweden’s parliament, or Riksdag, gave the 54-year-old Social Democrat leader a standing ovation a century after women were granted the right to vote.

Her election as the leader of a minority administration came as a result of a last-minute compromise with the Left opposition party in exchange for increased pensions for many Swedes. She also won the backing of the Greens, a coalition partner.

174 of the Riksdag’s 349 members voted against her. But, in addition to the 117 MPs who backed Ms Andersson, another 57 abstained, giving her a one-vote triumph. 

About Magdalena Andersson:

Eva Magdalena Andersson is a Swedish Social Democratic politician who has been acting as the party’s leader since November 4, 2021.

She is the only child of Göran Andersson (1936–2002), an Uppsala University statistics lecturer, and Birgitta Andersson (née Grunell), a teacher (born 1939). In her youth, Andersson was a competitive swimmer.

The Riksdag elected her as Sweden’s prime minister on November 24, 2021, and she was scheduled to take office on November 26.

But, only hours after her election as prime minister, Andersson resigned due to the breakdown of her party’s coalition with the Green Party, which was sparked by the Riksdag’s approval of the opposition’s budget plan after the coalition’s own budget was defeated.

She then stated that she intends to seek the Riksdag’s confidence to form a single-party Social Democratic administration.

She began her political career in 1996 as a political consultant to then-Prime Minister Goran Persson, a former junior swimming champion from the university city of Uppsala.

She has served as finance minister for the past seven years. Sweden was the only Nordic country without a female prime minister until MPs endorsed Magdalena Andersson.

After finishing her economics studies, Andersson worked as a political consultant to Göran Persson in the Prime Minister’s Office from 1996 to 1998, and then as Director of Planning from 1998 to 2004.

She subsequently worked in the public sector as Secretary of State in the Ministry of Finance from 2004 to 2006, before returning to politics as a political adviser to Opposition Leader Mona Sahlin from 2007 to 2009.

When she was selected by the government, she left her job for the Chief Director of the Swedish Tax Agency position, which she held until 2012. She resigned after being elected as a Social Democratic Party candidate in the 2014 general election.

Later, Riksdag elected her as Sweden’s prime minister on November 24, 2021, and she was scheduled to take office on November 26.

But, only hours after her election as prime minister, Andersson resigned due to the breakdown of her party’s coalition with the Green Party, which was sparked by the Riksdag’s approval of the opposition’s budget plan after the coalition’s own budget was defeated.

She then stated that she intends to seek the Riksdag’s confidence to form a single-party Social Democratic administration.

If Andersson is approved by the Riksdag, she will become Sweden’s first female Prime Minister, ending the country’s status as the only Nordic country without a female Prime Minister.

“Until a new administration is in place, the existing government will serve as an interim government,” it continued, according to CNN.

She had taken the position of Stefan Lofven, who had lately resigned as both the country’s prime minister and the head of the Social Democrats party.

Andersson was preceded as Prime Minister by 33 persons. According to her CV on the Swedish government website, she formerly served as Deputy Director-General of the Swedish Tax Agency.

Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and the rest of the Nordic nations have previously chosen female national presidents.

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