Sweden’s first-ever female PM QUITS within just HOURS as her coalition government collapses
- Finance minister Magdalena Andersson was elected by the narrowest margin
- She agreed a deal with the Greens and Centre Party but they withdrew support
- She has now been forced to resign and another vote will be held
Sweden’s first ever female prime minister has been forced to quit just hours after being elected as her coalition parties withdrew their support.
Finance minister Magdalena Andersson won a parliament vote by the narrowest possible margin in a deal with left and centre parties.
But the Green Party dropped their support after she lost a crucial budget bill, forcing her to stand down, meaning another prime ministerial vote will be held.
Sweden’s first ever female prime minister has been forced to quit just hours after taking over
Andersson had earlier clinched a last-minute deal with the Left to raise pensions in exchange for its backing in today’s vote.
She took over as leader of the Social Democrats earlier this month and had received the support of the Social Democrats’ coalition partner the Greens, as well as the Centre Party.
Parliament will now have to hold a new prime ministerial vote, as the current result was based on Andersson heading a coalition made up of her Social Democrats and the Greens.
The government budget was rejected in favour of a rival bill put forward by three right-wing parties, including the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats.
Green co-leader Marta Stenevi said: ‘We wanted to have power in order to conduct green policies.
‘It is … not the Green Party’s job in politics to implement a budget negotiated with the Sweden Democrats.’
On Wednesday, a total of 117 members of parliament had voted for her, while 57 abstained, 174 voted against and one was absent.
The Green Party’s spokespeople Per Bolund (left) and Marta Stenevi (right) hold a press conference after withdrawing support for the newly-elected prime minister
Under Sweden’s system, a prime ministerial candidate does not need the support of a majority in parliament, they just need to not have a majority – or 175 votes – against them.
Despite being a nation that has long championed gender equality, Sweden had never had a woman as prime minister.
Andersson called it ‘a special day’, coming 100 years after Sweden allowed female suffrage.
All other Nordic countries – Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland – have seen women lead their governments.
Andersson succeeded Stefan Lofven, who resigned on November 10 after seven years as prime minister in a widely expected move aimed at giving his successor time to prepare for the country’s September 2022 general election.
It comes as the Social Democrats currently hover close to their lowest-ever approval ratings with elections less than a year away.
A total of 117 members of parliament had voted for her, while 57 abstained, 174 voted against and one was absent
The right-wing opposition, led by the conservative Moderates, has in recent years inched closer to the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats and hopes to govern with its informal backing.
After being confirmed as the Social Democrats’ leader in early November, Andersson, a former junior swimming champion often described as ‘pragmatic’ and a ‘technocratic bureaucrat’, outlined her three political priorities.
She said she wanted to shift away from the recent privatisation of the welfare sector – schools, healthcare and elderly care – and aimed to make Sweden a global role model in climate transition.
And she vowed to end the segregation, shootings and bombings that have plagued the country in recent years, usually due to gangland rivalries or organised criminals battling over the drug market.
The violence has mainly hit disadvantaged neighbourhoods with large immigrant populations, but has increasingly spilt over into other areas.
Crime and immigration are expected to be among Swedes’ main concerns in next year’s election.