Sweden's first female PM returns after resigning last week

Sweden’s first female PM returns after resigning last week

Magdalena Andersson

Sweden’s Social Democratic Party leader Magdalena Andersson has been reappointed as prime minister after she was forced to resign from the role last week within hours of election.

The Swedish parliament, the Riksdag, has now narrowly elected to reinstate Andersson as prime minister, in a vote with 101 of its 349 members voting ‘yes’. 173 members voted ‘no’ and 75 abstained. This was enough to get Andersson across the line, with the rules stating that a candidate for prime minister only needs to avoid a majority voting against them.

Andersson resigned as prime minister last week after the Green Party withdrew from her coalition government, causing it to collapse. She will now attempt to lead a one-party, minority government.

Last week, Andersson’s budget proposal failed to pass through the parliament, which led to the adoption of another budget proposal presented by three opposition parties, including th conservative Moderates, Christian Democrats, and the far-right party Sweden Democrats.

The Green Party said it would not be part of a coalition that accepted a budget proposal drafted by the far right, with Green leader Per Bolund saying: “Now the government has voted for a budget that has been negotiated by a right-wing extremist party”.

With their departure from the coalition, Andersson was forced to resign as prime minister. She will now need to govern with the budget that was put forward by the opposition.

“Like all minority governments, we will seek co-operation with other parties in parliament, and I see good opportunities to do so,” Andersson told reporters after being reinstated.

“The Social Democrats have the biggest party group in parliament by a wide margin. We also have a long tradition of cooperation with others and stand ready to do what is needed to lead Sweden forward.”

Andersson is expected to face challenging circumstances and will have difficulty passing legislation. Her party, the Social Democrats, hold 100 seats in the 349-seat parliament.

Andersson has a background as an economist and served as Sweden’s finance minister for seven years. She took over as Social Democrats leader after the resignation of Stefan Lofven. When she was elected prime minister for the first time last week, she noted its significance, saying: “I know what this means for girls in our country”.

Sweden’s next election is due in September 2022.

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