Sweden’s Prime Minister-elect Resigns Hours After Taking Office.
After her budget failed to pass and the junior Green Party left the coalition government, Sweden’s Prime Minister-elect Magdalena Andersson resigned on Wednesday, only hours after being chosen by parliament.
While her tenure was unexpectedly brief, Andersson made history by becoming Sweden’s first female prime minister; she was scheduled to assume office on Friday.
The 54-year-old economist, who has been finance minister for the past seven years, said she hoped to be re-elected as leader of a minority government made up entirely of Social Democrats.
“When one party quits, it’s a constitutional procedure for a coalition government to resign,” Andersson, a Social Democrat, told reporters.
“I don’t want to be in charge of a government whose legitimacy is in doubt.”
Just hours before, parliament had elected Andersson after she struck a last-minute deal with the Left Party to raise pensions in exchange for the Left Party’s essential support in Wednesday’s vote.
However, due to the concessions made to the Left, the minor Centre Party withdrew its support for Andersson’s budget, leaving her budget with insufficient votes to pass in parliament.
Instead, the opposition conservative Moderates, Christian Democrats, and far-right Sweden Democrats offered an alternative budget to lawmakers.
Andersson hesitantly admitted that with that budget, she would still be able to rule.
However, in an even more shocking move, Greens leader Per Bolund announced that his party would resign the government if the opposition’s “historic budget, negotiated for the first time with the far-right” could not be tolerated.
It couldn’t accept the opposition’s proposed tax decrease on gasoline, which it claimed would result in increased emissions.
Andreas Norlen, the Speaker of Parliament, said he had accepted Andersson’s resignation and will consult with party leaders before determining how to move on Thursday.
In an editorial, Sweden’s largest daily Dagens Nyheter said that the turn of events could benefit Andersson, whom the Greens have pledged to back in a fresh prime ministerial election.
“The Social Democrats may have all of the cabinet slots and avoid all of the Green Party compromises,” it said.
Despite its long history of championing gender equality, Sweden has never had a female prime minister.
Andersson described her election as “a memorable day” because it came 100 years after the Scandinavian country granted women the right to vote.
Women have led the governments of all other Nordic countries, including Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland.
Andersson assumed command. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.