Magdalena Andersson was elected Sweden’s first female prime minister
Sweden’s Minister of Finance and Social Democratic party leader Magdalena Andersson watches, during a vote in the Riksdag, in Stockholm, Wednesday, November 24, 2021. | Photo credit: AP
Stockholm: On Wednesday, the Swedish Parliament elected the Social Democratic party leader and current Minister of Finance Magdalena Andersson as the country’s first female Prime Minister, after she entered into a last-minute agreement that secured key support.
Andersson succeeds outgoing Prime Minister Stefan Lofven after a total of 117 members of parliament voted for her, while 57 abstained, 174 voted against and one absent.
According to Sweden’s system, a prime ministerial candidate does not need the support of a majority in the Riksdag, they just do not need to have a majority – or 175 votes – against them.
The 54-year-old, who took over as leader of the Social Democrats earlier this month, reached an agreement with the Left Party late on Tuesday to increase pensions in exchange for supporting them in Wednesday’s vote.
She had previously received support from the Social Democrats’ coalition partner The Greens, as well as the Center Party.
Andersson, however, got his first setback even before the election on Wednesday.
The Center Party announced that even if it did not oppose Andersson in the vote for prime minister, it would withdraw its support for the government’s budget to be voted on later Wednesday, due to the concessions to the Left.
This means that Andersson will in all probability have to govern with a budget presented by the opposition’s conservative Moderates, Christian Democrats and right-wing extremist Sweden Democrats.
Andersson formally takes over her functions and presents his government on Friday.
Stefan Lofven resigned on November 10 after seven years as Prime Minister in a generally expected move that aimed to give his successor time to prepare for the country’s general election in September 2022.
Despite the fact that Sweden is a nation that has long fought for gender equality, Sweden has never had a woman as prime minister.
All other Nordic countries – Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland – have seen women lead their governments.