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Nov 25, 2021

Sweden’s first woman PM quits hours after appointment

Foreign Affairs News Desk
Photo Credit: Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/TT News Agency via AP file
Photo Credit: Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/TT News Agency via AP file

Shortly after Social Democrat leader Ms. Eva Magdalena Andersson was elected by Parliament as Sweden’s first female Prime Minister, she tendered her resignation after facing the harsh reality of having to lead a minority coalition government.

As per the IANS report, just hours after she was elected the Prime Minister on Wednesday, the Swedish Parliament (Riksdag) passed the opposition’s budget proposal prompting Andersson’s coalition partner the Green Party to pull its support.

This, in turn, forced Andersson to announce her resignation, reported Xinhua news agency.

Earlier, Sweden has its first woman prime minister after Parliament (Riksdag) parliament has endorsed former Finance Minister Eva Magdalena Andersson to the post of nation’s first female prime minister creating a history in a nation often applauded for gender equality in the workplace.

In comparison, the election of Andersson was a breeze. To be elected prime minister, she only needed a majority of lawmakers in the 349-seat Riksdag not voting against her. She was backed by 117 but rejected by 174, with 57 deputies abstaining. One deputy was absent.

Wednesday’s events were a result of the inconclusive outcome of the 2018 elections, which led to a lengthy process of finding a government in a political landscape where certain parties do everything in their power to block their ideological opponents from having any form of influence.

Andersson’s election followed an 11th-hour deal with the Left Party, which demanded a raise in pensions for around 7,00,000 of the poorest pensioners in return for not pressing the red button.

However, later in the day the ruling coalition’s budget proposal was voted down in favour of the budget proposed jointly by the Moderate Party, the Sweden Democrats and the Christian Democrats.

This came after the Center Party, which accepted Andersson as the prime minister in an attempt to shut out the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, decided not to vote for the government’s budget proposal, as they saw the deal as too sharp a turn to the Left despite the fact that the government had also made concessions to appease the Center Party.

Swedish PM assumes office but resigned shortly after.

After the Riksdag passed the opposition’s budget, the Greens announced that they would leave the government as they could not stand behind a budget negotiated by the Sweden Democrats.

A 54-year-old politician, Andersson, who since 2014 has served as the finance minister under former Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, said that she could lead the country with the opposition’s budget, describing it as requiring only minor tweaks. However, the Green Party had a different opinion.

Ms. Andersson is a Swedish Social Democratic politician who has been serving as the leader of the Social Democratic Party since 4 November 2021.

With the Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany departing from politics Sweden has risen with women in powerful politics.

Many women have become prime ministers of their respective countries in the world. But of them in South Asia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India had seen women prime ministers in their countries. 

The Riksdag will now have to elect a new prime minister. The Green Party has said they would support Andersson, who in turn said she was prepared to lead a single-party government.