Sweden's First Female Prime Minister Resigns Hours After Her Appointment
By Dominic Chopping
STOCKHOLM--Sweden's first female prime minister resigned
Wednesday evening, just hours after her appointment, as her
coalition government collapsed.
Magdalena Andersson was named prime minister after a
parliamentary vote Wednesday, but she saw her budget bill fail to
pass in a vote later in the day. This meant that the budget
proposed by opposition parties was approved instead, an opposition
that includes the populist Sweden Democrats.
In response, Ms. Andersson's key coalition partner, the Green
Party, quit the government.
"The government has voted for a budget that has been negotiated
by a right-wing extremist party," Green Party spokesman Per Bolund
said at press conference after the vote.
"The Green Party's task in politics is not to implement a budget
negotiated by Sweden Democrats," he added.
Despite the upheaval, Ms. Andersson said she still wants to
serve as prime minister and the Green Party said that it will
support her in any future vote.
"According to practice, a coalition government should resign if
a party chooses to leave the government," Ms. Andersson said after
"I also do not want to lead a government where there may be
grounds to question its legitimacy," she said.
The parliamentary speaker will now begin talks with the leaders
of all parties represented in parliament to discuss the next
Ms. Andersson had been serving as the country's finance minister
and recently became leader of the Social Democratic Party, taking
over from Stefan Lofven, who resigned earlier this month.
Under Swedish rules, Ms. Andersson needed to avoid a majority of
parliamentary members voting against her to succeed in becoming
prime minister, and she managed with the narrowest of margins after
a last-minute agreement with the Left Party ensured their support
in the vote. Of the 349 members of parliament, 174 voted against
her. If 175 had voted against Ms. Andersson, she would have lost
Mr. Lofven, who had led the Social Democrats party since 2012
and became prime minister in 2014 to lead a centre-left coalition,
said over the summer that he would step down as both party leader
and prime minister to give his successor enough time to campaign
ahead of next year's general election.
Write to Dominic Chopping at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 25, 2021 02:18 ET (07:18 GMT)
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