Sunday, December 5, 2021

Sweden’s first woman PM resigns hours after taking charge

Sweden’s first ever woman prime minister resigned just hours after she was appointed.

Magdalena Andersson, was announced as leader on Wednesday but resigned after her coalition partner quit the government and her budget failed to pass.

Instead, parliament voted for a budget drawn-up by the opposition which includes the anti-immigrant far right.

“I have told the speaker that I wish to resign,” Ms Andersson told reporters.

Her coalition partner, the Greens Party said it could not accept a budget “drafted for the first time with the far-right”.

Ms Andersson said that she hoped to try to become prime minister again as a single party government leader.

“There is a constitutional practice that a coalition government should resign when one party quits,” the Social Democrat said on Wednesday. “I don’t want to lead a government whose legitimacy will be questioned.

Ms Andersson was elected as prime minister earlier on Wednesday because under Swedish law, she only needed a majority of MPs not to vote against her.

A hundred years after Swedish women were given the vote, the 54-year-old Social Democrat leader was given a standing ovation by sections of the parliament, or Riksdag.

A former junior swimming champion from the university city of Uppsala, she began her political career in 1996 as political adviser to then-Prime Minister Goran Persson. She has spent the past seven years as finance minister.

Before MPs backed Magdalena Andersson, Sweden was the only Nordic state never to have a woman as PM.

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