Government of Sweden: Magdalena Andersson is appointed Sweden’s first female prime minister – and resigns immediately
Stockholm Social democrat Magdalena Andersson resigned just eight hours later. The step became necessary because the Greens, a coalition partner of the Social Democrats for seven years, want to leave the government. It is not yet clear how exactly it will continue. Andersson said, however, that she would continue to pursue the office of prime minister.
On Wednesday morning, Andersson was the first woman in Sweden to be elected head of government. But only a little later, the budget presented by their red-green minority coalition fell through in parliament. This made it clear that Andersson would have to rule with the budget of the right-wing opposition in the coming year.
She didn’t see that as a major problem. Quite different from the Greens, who under no circumstances wanted to continue governing with the opposition’s budget. With that, the minority government of the new Prime Minister was history. In the coming days there will probably be a new vote in parliament on Andersson.
Should she not be able to prevail, new elections will be held. The problem: The regular elections next September will not be affected, they will definitely take place. Swedish voters would have to vote twice in just a few months.
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The day had already started badly for Andersson. It was a “nightmare start,” said the Swedish broadcaster’s political commentator. In fact, only one vote was missing and Magdalena Andersson would not have been elected as the new Swedish Prime Minister.
Surprising exit of the Greens
But it was just enough: 117 of the 349 MPs voted for the 54-year-old social democrat. According to the constitution, a majority of 175 parliamentarians would have had to vote against them for their election to fail. But there were only 174 no votes.
The fact that the Greens are now leaving the government came as a surprise. The party, which has formed a minority government together with the Social Democrats for seven years, is currently in opinion polls below the four percent mark applicable in Sweden.
There will be regular parliamentary elections next September in Sweden, and most commentators believe that the Greens want to position themselves more clearly than before and not be identified as a supportive party for the Social Democrats. That is why they want to campaign as an independent party.
As it stands, it is now a punishment that the Social Democrats have often governed without a majority over the past few decades and have relied on the support of other parties. But now the support parties have become more self-confident and are demanding more influence on government policy.
The Social Democrats, who have shaped the country like no other over the past 100 years with a few interruptions, ultimately relied on the support of the ex-communist Left Party and the liberal Center Party. But the center and the Left Party demanded more and more influence on government policy. To make matters worse, the Center and the Left Party have almost incompatible positions.
Further steps are unclear
While Andersson was celebrated in the morning and afternoon as the first woman to head a Swedish government, commentators in the evening spoke of an “unprecedented chaos” in Swedish politics. At the moment, nobody knows what will happen next. The speaker of parliament will decide in the next few days whether he will commission Andersson again to form a government.
Alternatively, he could entrust the chairman of the Conservatives, Ulf Kristersson, with the formation of a government. He has announced a collaboration with the Christian Democrats and the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats.
However, for a parliamentary majority it needs the support of other parties. However, several parties have refused to work with the Sweden Democrats.
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