Sweden’s parliament elects Magdalena Andersson as first female PM

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The leader of the Social Democrat Party confirmed him as the successor of the outgoing Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.

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Sweden’s parliament has confirmed Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson as the country’s first female prime minister.

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The 54-year-old, who took over as leader of the governing Social Democrat party earlier this month, was chosen as the successor to outgoing leader Stefan Lofven during a confirmation vote in parliament on Wednesday.

A total of 117 members of parliament voted for him, while 174 voted against him. Seventy-five abstinence.

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Under Sweden’s system, a candidate for prime minister does not need the support of a majority in parliament, just that they must not have a majority against them.

Andersen, who currently serves as Sweden’s finance minister, will formally take over as prime minister after a meeting with King Carl XVI Gustaf on Friday.

Despite being a nation that has long supported gender equality, Sweden has never had a female prime minister.

All the other Nordic countries – Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland – have seen women lead their governments.

left party deal

Anderson’s appointment comes as he garnered significant support Tuesday with the left-wing party in exchange for a last-minute pension increase.

“We have reached an agreement to strengthen the finances of the poorest pensioners,” Anderson told public broadcaster SVT after the agreement was announced.

Left party leader Nushi Dudgeostar also confirmed the deal. “We’re not going to block Andersen,” she told Swedish radio.

Anderson already had the support of the Greens, a coalition partner of the Social Democrats, in the government.

The Center Party said it would not stop Löfven from taking over earlier this month following the decision to step down and the risk of an alternative right-wing government emerging.

opposition barrier

However, Center Party leader Anne Loof said her party would not vote “yes” to the government’s proposed budget in a vote in parliament later on Wednesday, meaning an opposition finance bill is likely to be passed.

He said the agreement between the ruling coalition and the Left party “pulled the government further to the left”.

Three opposition parties have presented a general budget that is likely to get Parliament’s nod instead, threatening to put Anderson in immediate trouble.

That means Anderson may face the prospect of ruling out the Center’s budget policies, at least until spring, when the government will have a chance to rework the policy in a new budget bill.

Outgoing Prime Minister Löfven accepted such a position in 2014 but said he would not do so again before announcing his plans to resign. The move was intended to give his successor time to prepare for the country’s September 2022 general election.

Anderson has not said whether she will resign or soldier on if the opposition’s finance bill is passed.

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