Sweden Chooses First Female Prime Minister Again After Resignation Last Week

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In an odd turn of events, Sweden has selected Magdalena Andersson as prime minister for a second time. Last week, Andersson became the first woman to ever serve as the country’s PM, but she only held power for seven hours before her coalition crumbled, and she chose to resign.

Last Week

Andersson narrowly secured the top spot Wednesday with a coalition between her own Social Democratic Party and the Green Party. Later that day, the Social Democrats’ budget proposal was rejected by Parliament in favor of a budget from the right-wing Sweden Democrats. This defeat dissolved Andersson’s coalition and forced the Green Party out of the government.

Andersson stepped down, citing concerns that people would view her government as illegitimate if it didn’t have the backing of a majority of Parliament. “There is a constitutional practice where a coalition government resigns when a party leaves it. I don’t want to lead a government whose legitimacy is being called into question,” she stated during a press conference.

Ahead of Monday’s elections, the Social Democrats expected to select Andersson as PM once more.

Selected As PM… Again

Andersson once more narrowly became PM after 101 members of Parliament voted for her on Monday. While 173 members voted against her, 75 others abstained. Since there were less than 175 votes of no confidence, Andersson is once again Prime Minister. Had even two more legislators voted against her, she would have failed to secure the role for a second time.

Experts expect the former finance minister to hold power for longer than a few hours this time. Andreas Norlén, the speaker of Sweden’s Parliament, told reporters that he regretted how things played out Wednesday. Andersson’s new government is comprised only of her Social Democrats, instead of being based on a coalition.

“She will now lead a one-party government. So no more surprises. No more crisis, at least for now,” said political science professor Anders Sannerstedt.

Looking Ahead

Sweden will hold parliamentary elections in September 2022. Political scientists expect next year’s election to be hotly contested. The Social Democrats remain the single largest party in the country, with a quarter of residents signaling their support for the party in national polling. However, the Social Democrats are currently as unpopular as they’ve ever been, with their rivals gaining significant ground in recent years.

Analysts expect to see the Sweden Democrats gain ground in the 2022 elections, which could jeopardize Andersson’s minority government.