Sweden elects first female prime minister for second time after shock departure
Magdalena Andersson has been elected Sweden’s first female prime minister for the second time in a week, after her shock resignation just hours after she was originally appointed.
The former finance minister won a similar vote last week but threw in the towel just hours later after the Green Party – a coalition partner – abandoned the government due to a lost budget vote.
Andersson will now form a minority government consisting only of her own party, the Social Democrats, which holds 100 seats in the Riksdag with 349 seats and which must rely on the support of several other parties to implement the policy.
Not since 1979 has a government received so little direct support in parliament.
To complicate the picture, Andersson will have to rule on a budget formulated in part by three opposition parties, including the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats, whose success over the past decade is at the heart of Sweden’s political turbulence.
Her weak grip on power is due to a locked parliament where neither the center-left nor the center-right can form a majority on their own.
Andersson was prime minister for seven hours before resigning last week after the Greens left her two-party coalition.
Their move followed the rejection of her government’s budget proposal in favor of one put forward by opposition parties including the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats, which are rooted in a neo-Nazi movement.
Andersson’s appointment as Prime Minister marks a milestone for Sweden, which for decades has been considered one of Europe’s most progressive countries in terms of gender relations, but which has not yet had a woman in the top political post.
In a speech to parliament, Center Party leader Annie Loof said that a female prime minister “means a lot to many girls and women to see this glass roof smashed.
AP / Reuters