Sweden’s new prime minister quits on first day on the job, hopes for quick comeback By Reuters


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© Reuters. Current Finance Minister and SPD Leader Magdalena Andersson is appointed as the country’s new Prime Minister after a vote at the Riksdaggen in Stockholm, Sweden on November 24, 2021. Andersen is the first ever Swedish woman

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Written by Simon Johnson and Johann Ahlander

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Magdalena Andersson, Sweden’s first female prime minister, resigned on Wednesday after less than 12 hours in the job after the Green Party pulled out of its two-party coalition, sparking political uncertainty.

But Anderson said she had told the Speaker of Parliament that she hoped to be appointed prime minister again as the head of a one-party government, and the odds of that happening seemed rather strong with support from other parties.

The Green Party resigned after Parliament rejected the coalition budget bill.

“I asked the speaker to relieve me of my duties as prime minister,” Anderson told a news conference. “I am ready to be prime minister in the one-party SPD government.”

The Greens said they would support her in any new confirmation vote in Parliament, while the Center Party promised to abstain, which in practice amounts to supporting her candidacy. The Left Party also said it would support it.

While these parties have not been able to agree on the budget, they are united in the goal of preventing the Swedish Democrats, a populist anti-immigration party, from having a role in government.

“The Center Party will open the door for her (Anderson) to be prime minister,” party leader Annie Love said on Twitter (NYSE).

“We will make sure, once again, that Sweden can have a government that does not depend on the Swedish Democrats.”

The Swedish Democrats support the moderate right-wing opposition and the Christian Democrats, but they cannot obtain a majority in parliament.

Challenges

Andersen took over as Prime Minister from Stefan Lofven as head of a two-party minority coalition backed by the left and center parties. But this alliance collapsed when the Center Party refused to support the new government’s finance bill.

Then parliament on Wednesday approved spending plans by three opposition parties, prompting the Greens to quit the coalition and leaving Anderson with no choice but to quit.

The Speaker will now decide the next step in the process of finding a new government, but will likely bring Anderson forward for a new vote in the coming days.

“We expect the left, green and center parties to abstain in the next vote and thus effectively agree to have Anderson as prime minister again,” Nordea Banking Group said in a note. In other words, the political chaos is over as long as nothing unexpected happens.

Who will become prime minister faces major challenges, and national elections are scheduled for next September.

Gangster violence and shooting are the scourge of life in many big cities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed gaps in the much-touted welfare state and the government needs to speed up the transition to a green economy if it is to achieve its climate change goals.

The center-left and center-right blocs have essentially been deadlocked in the polls.

The fact that Sweden took so long to get its prime minister is embarrassing for many in a country that introduced universal suffrage 100 years ago and has long championed gender equality.

Neighboring Norway got its first female leader in 40 years. Sri Lanka was the first country to elect a female prime minister in 1960.



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