Sweden’s Prime Minister: Historic election – for a short time?


Status: 11/24/2021 3:53 p.m.

“The time of crises” is over, promises Sweden’s new Prime Minister Andersson. But the first woman in office is threatened with extinction just a few hours after being elected – and she has little time.

By Sofie Donges, ARD-Studio Stockholm

At 10:02 a.m. Magdalena Andersson could take a deep breath: the Swedish parliament had not voted against her with an absolute majority. According to the constitution, Andersson is the future Prime Minister of Sweden – and the first at the same time, because until now only men have ruled this otherwise progressive country. Andersson, however, did not make this an issue when she appeared in front of the press shortly after the election and instead presented her political agenda: stop the gang crime that Sweden has suffered from for years and which is currently considered one of the most pressing domestic problems. In addition, she wanted to do more to protect the climate and strengthen the welfare state, promised Andersson.

Andersson has so far been considered more conservative, but at the most recent party congress also placed social issues in the foreground. At the same time, she announced a tough course in migration and integration policy. This is no coincidence: The Swedish Social Democrats have dropped their feathers and made too many concessions to the liberal support parties in the red-green minority government, many believe.

Ten months for the economist

That’s one of the problems Andersson inherits from her predecessor. She has long been considered the potential successor to the previous Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. After his resignation, Andersson will take over the remaining part of his term of office, which ends in autumn 2022. So the economist has ten months to strengthen her party and make a name for herself. Immediately after her election, she emphasized that the time of political crises in Sweden was over.

There is no other way to put it, Swedish politics has had a turbulent time. But I have an important message for the Swedish people. If you want more stability, there is a simple solution: Vote me, vote the Social Democrats.

First hurdle: budget negotiations

However, it does not look like stability at first. Andersson described himself as the most thrifty finance minister in the EU in the summer. She promised to keep the money together shortly before an election.

Your draft budget will not be confirmed by parliament today, however: In all likelihood, the red-green minority government will have to live with the budget proposal of the conservative moderates, for which there will be a majority in the foreseeable future.

If the budget of the red-green government fails, the Greens no longer want to govern, they announced at noon. This could mean that Andersson’s election in parliament could be declared invalid, according to political scientists. It would have to be voted again – and then everything would be open again.

One last, symbolic step

In this political chaos, the fact that Andersson is the country’s first female prime minister becomes almost a minor matter. Luise Steinberger, a journalist at Sveriges Radio, believes that you have to look at the first Swedish Prime Minister in the entire political context. After all, she is not the first leader of the Social Democrats, and most parties in Sweden also have female leaders. Seen in this light, the appointment as Prime Minister is just a last, symbolic step.

Even so, today is an important day for many women in Sweden. Andersson himself had tears in his eyes when the leader of the Left Party said: “It’s historic, now my daughter sees that a woman can also become prime minister.” The two politicians had negotiated hard in the past few days, because Andersson’s election depended on the votes of the Left Party.

Leave A Comment