Andersson Elected Swedish PM For Second Time After Her Resignation

In this file photo taken on November 04, 2021, Sweden’s Minister of Finance Magdalena Andersson delivers a speech after being elected to party chairman of the Social Democratic Party at the Social Democratic Party Congress in Gothenburg. Adam IHSE / TT News Agency / AFP

 

Sweden’s parliament on Monday elected Magdalena Andersson as the country’s prime minister, the first woman to hold the post, five days after her first bid lasted only hours.

Despite being a nation that has long championed gender equality, Sweden has never before had a woman as prime minister.

Last week Andersson was elected by parliament but she had to resign just hours later — before she even had a chance to formally take office — after the Green Party quit her coalition government.

The 54-year-old, who is the outgoing finance minister, will now head a minority government made up solely of the Social Democrats, with 10 months to go before the September general elections.

She is due to formally take over the post on Tuesday, succeeding outgoing Prime Minister Stefan Lofven after his seven years in power.

A total of 101 members of parliament voted for Andersson, while 75 abstained and 173 voted against.

Under Sweden’s system, a prime ministerial candidate does not need the support of a majority in parliament, they just need to avoid a majority voting against them.

Andersson now faces a challenging period in the run-up to the election.

Her weak minority means she will have to seek support for her policies on both the left and the right.

She will also have to govern with a budget presented by the opposition conservative Moderates, Christian Democrats and far-right Sweden Democrats after her budget failed to pass through parliament last week.

The four opposition parties on the centre and right are united on most issues and control 174 seats in parliament, while the four parties on the left and centre, which hold 175 seats, are more splintered.

Observers predict the election will be a close race, with crime and immigration topping voters’ concerns.

AFP