New Swedish prime minister resigns hours after being elected



By Amy Cassidy and Niamh Kennedy, CNN and Reuters

Sweden’s first female prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, has stepped down just hours after being elected, Sweden’s official Twitter account said on Wednesday.

The dramatic move came before Andersson was fully in office, as she had yet to have advice with the King, a spokesperson told CNN.

His resignation follows a budget defeat in parliament on Wednesday, Sweden’s Twitter account added, with lawmakers backing the opposition bill.

The Green Party has also decided to quit the minority coalition government with Andersson’s Social Democrats, he said. “The current government will remain an interim government until a new government is in place,” he added.

Andersson, 54, said he told the Speaker of Parliament that she hoped to be re-elected as prime minister as the head of a “one-party social democratic government,” Reuters reported.

she replaced Stefan Löfven, who recently stepped down as Prime Minister of the country and leader of the Social Democratic Party.

All the other Nordic countries – Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland – have already elected female national leaders.

As prime minister, Andersson was preceded by 33 men. She previously worked as Deputy Director General of the Swedish Tax Agency, according to her CV on the Swedish government website.

She holds an MA in Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics and has been Swedish Minister of Finance since 2014.

She is also the second woman to lead the center-left Social Democratic Party, according to Sweden’s Twitter account.

Already faced with major obstacles

Andersson gained parliamentary approval after making a last-minute deal with the former Communist Left Party, but his grip on power was tenuous due to the The fragmented political landscape of the Nordic country.

His predecessor Löfven ruled by performing a complex act of juggling to gain the support of left and center parties in parliament, even if they are not part of the coalition government.

But the Center Party was concerned about the deal with the Left Party and had said it would not back the Andersson government in a vote on a finance bill proposed by three opposition parties.

“We cannot support a budget from a government that moves far to the left, which we think the new government is doing,” Center Party leader Annie Loof told reporters.

Löfven, who resigned earlier this month to give Andersson a chance to bolster his support for the party ahead of the September general election next year, said he would not continue if he lost the vote on the budget.

Anyone leading Sweden will face significant challenges. Gang violence and shootings ruin life in many suburbs of the capital, Stockholm and other major cities.

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed loopholes in the much-vaunted welfare state, with a death rate in Sweden much higher than in neighboring Nordic countries. The government must also accelerate the shift to a “green” economy if it is to meet its climate change targets.

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