Magdalena Andersson has resigned
Magdalena Andersson, Sweden’s first female prime minister, abruptly resigned less than 12 hours after taking office, citing a budget defeat in parliament and the loss of her coalition partner in a two-party minority administration.
Ms. Magdalena Andersson said she had to resign because the Green Party had decided to leave the two-party coalition, but that she had told the house speaker that she intended to be named prime minister again as leader of a single-party administration.
The Green Party resigned after the coalition’s budget bill was rejected by parliament.
“I have requested that my obligations as Prime Minister be discharged by the Speaker,” Andersson said at a press conference. “I am prepared to lead a single-party, Social Democratic government.”
The Green Party indicated it would vote in favor of her in any new confirmation vote in parliament, while the Centre Party stated it would abstain, thereby endorsing her candidacy. The Left Party has also stated that it will support her.
The budget was defeated in a vote.
The government’s budget proposal was defeated in favor of one put up by the opposition, which includes the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats. The neo-Nazi movement is at the heart of Sweden’s third-largest political party. The opposition’s budget plan was approved by a vote of 154 to 143.
Speaker Andreas Norlen said he will contact the heads of Sweden’s eight political parties “to examine the situation.” He will outline the next steps for the 349-seat parliament on Thursday.
“A coalition government should resign if a party chooses to leave the government,” Andersson added. It needs to be tried again, notwithstanding the fact that the parliamentary position remains unchanged.”
The opposition’s plan was approved.
The approved budget was based on the government’s own proposal, but only about 20 billion kronor ($2.2 billion) of the 74 billion kronor ($8.2 billion) set aside for reforms will be redistributed next year, according to Swedish network SVT.
The approved budget promises to lower taxes, raise police officer wages, and provide greater funding to various parts of Sweden’s justice system.
Andersson’s nomination as prime minister was a watershed moment for Sweden, which had long been regarded as one of Europe’s most progressive countries in terms of gender relations but had yet to have a female prime minister.
Andersson was chosen to take over as party leader and prime minister from Stefan Lofven, who stepped down earlier this year.
Earlier in the day, 117 lawmakers voted in favor of Andersson’s appointment, 174 against her appointment, 57 abstained, and one MP was absent.
Prime ministers can be named and govern in Sweden as long as a parliamentary majority — a minimum of 175 legislators – is not against them.
The next general election in Sweden is set for September 11th.