Sweden's first female prime minister resigns just hours after appointment

She will attempt to be re-elected.

Jean Chien Tay | November 25, 2021, 07:23 PM

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Sweden's first female prime minister Magdalena Andersson resigned just hours after making history with her appointment, AFP reported.

Andersson, 54, who is from the Social Democratic Party, resigned after her government's budget proposal was rejected in parliament and her party's coalition partner -- the Greens Party -- pulled out from the two-party minority government, according to the Associated Press (AP).

The opposition, which includes the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats party, received 154 votes for their budget proposal, defeating the government's 143 votes.

The third-largest party in Sweden -- the Sweden Democrats -- are reportedly rooted in a neo-Nazi movement.

Elected as Sweden's prime minister on Nov. 24

Formerly the finance minister of Sweden, Andersson was initially elected to take over outgoing premier Stefan Lofven in a parliamentary vote on Nov. 24, according to Al Jazeera.

Among the 349 members in Sweden's parliament, 174 voted against her appointment, 117 voted in her favour, while 57 abstained from voting and one member was absent, AP reported.

According to the Swedish Constitution, a prime ministerial candidate can be appointed as long as the majority of the parliament -- 175 members of parliament -- are not against the decision.

The collapse

The collapse of the inter-party deal-making might be difficult for non-Swedes to understand, but it boils down to trying to hold together a fragile alliance of convenience, while rejecting far-right elements.

Andersson struck a deal with the 27-seat Left Party on Nov. 23 to raise pensions in exchange for their support in her bid for the seat of prime minister, Al Jazeera reported.

However, the concessions irked the Centre Party, which holds 31 seats in parliament, and her government's budget proposal did not have sufficient votes after the Centre Party pulled its support, according to AFP.

Subsequently, the parliament adopted the opposition's budget, which prompted the 16-seat Green Party to quit the government, saying it could not tolerate the "historic budget" which was drafted with the far-right for the first time.

According to AP, the Green Party said it was in their best interest to withdraw support after the government's budget failed to pass, as they "can not sit in (a) government that implements a policy (the Sweden Democrats) negotiated".

"Constitutional practice" to resign

Speaking to the media, Andersson said it is a "constitutional practice" for a coalition government to resign when one party quits, AFP reported.

”For me, it is about respect, but I also do not want to lead a government where there may be grounds to question its legitimacy,” the politician said at a press conference.

However, Andersson has informed parliamentary speaker Andreas Norlen of her intention to lead a one-party government under her Social Democratic Party.

The speaker will reportedly announce the road ahead on Nov. 25 after discussing the situation with the leaders from eight political parties.

According to AP, the Green Party is ready to throw their support behind Andersson once more in her renewed bid for the seat of prime minister.

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Top image via Magdalena Andersson/Facebook