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Sweden’s first female PM resigns hours after being elected — Analysis

Newly elected Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has announced her resignation just hours after making history as the country’s first woman premier.

“I have told the speaker that I wish to resign as prime minister,”Andersson said to journalists Wednesday, in Stockholm after her Social Democratic Party’s collapsed coalition. The 54-year-old  Andersson is reportedly seeking new support after the Green Party quit the new ruling minority coalition in the wake of a budget defeat.

After Wednesday’s election of the new PM, there was a narrow margin of support for the coalition. She received more votes than she got in parliament. The vote was 117 MPs for Andersson, Sweden’s finance minister, and 174 against her, with 57 lawmakers abstaining or absent. Swedish law allows prime ministers to be appointed and govern as long as a majority of the Riksdag – 175 MPs – doesn’t vote against them.

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However, Andersson’s historic victory, making Sweden the last Nordic country to have a female head of state, was quickly followed by a legislative defeat, as the Centre Party declined to go along with other coalition members in supporting the government’s budget proposal. Three conservative parties including Sweden Democrats proposed a different budget that was passed by MPs.

Andersson claimed she could run the country with an opposition budget. However, Marta Stenevi, co-leader of the Greens, told reporters that the party wanted power to implement its policies. “It is not the Green Party’s job in politics to implement a budget negotiated with the Sweden Democrats.”

Andersson subsequently said she didn’t want to lead a government “where there may be grounds to question its legitimacy.” She reportedly told Riksdag Speaker Andreas Norlen that she’s interested in leading a one-party Social Democratic government. Sweden will hold its general elections in September. 

Andersson was chosen by the Social Democrats to succeed Stefan Lofven who had resigned as Prime Minister and Party Leader earlier in this month. Lofven declared his intent to resign from political infighting in August, which included a no-confidence vote against him. He hoped that his successor would be able to take over. “the best of conditions” heading into next year’s election.

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