Who Magdalena Andersson, Sweden’s first woman PM who resigned in hours

Sweden’s first ever female Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson resigned hours after she was appointed on Wednesday. Social Democrat Andersson had formed a coalition government with the Green party, which decided to quit the coalition after Andersson presented her government’s budget, forcing her to resign as the Prime Minister.

Who is Magdalena Andersson?

Magdalena Andersson is the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Sweden. Andersson, 54, began her political career as a political adviser to then prime minister Göran Persson in 1996 and then as Director of Planning.

In 2004, Andersson began to work in the Ministry of Finance as State Secretary. She also held the position of Deputy Director-General of the Swedish Tax Agency for three years until 2012. In 2012, she became a part of the Swedish Social Democratic Party as their economic policy spokesperson.

In the 2014 Swedish elections, upon the victory of the Social Democratic Party, Andersson was elected the Minister of Finance in Stefan Löfven’s cabinet.

Andersson had become the head of the Social Democratic Party on November 4, 2021. She is the second woman leader of the Social Democratic Party.

What led to Magdalena Andersson’s resignation?

Andersson had formed a coalition government with the centrist Green Party and the Left Party.

Andersson was voted to power on Wednesday in the 349-member Swedish parliament with 117 members supporting her, 174 members against her and a total of 57 members abstained from voting.

According to the Swedish constitution, “If more than half of the members of the Riksdag, that is at least 175 members, vote against the Speaker’s proposal for a new prime minister, it is rejected. Otherwise, it is approved.”

Since less than 175 members of the parliament voted against Andersson, she became the Prime Minister.

To gain the support of the Left Party, Andersson had promised to raise pensions. This move made the Green Party withdraw their support from Andersson’s budget, due to which the Opposition’s budget was passed.

After Andersson presented her budget in the Parliament, with the vote of 154-153, the Swedish parliament voted in favour of the budget presented by the opposition which included conservative Moderates, Christian Democrats and far-right Sweden Democrats.

The Opposition’s budget aims to reduce taxes, increase police salaries and increase expenditure on various judiciary sectors.

On acceptance of the far-right budget in the parliament, the Green Party decided to take a step back from Andersson’s coalition government rather than having to govern the country under the approved budget.

After the coalition government fell, Andersson decided to resign voluntarily, promising to form a Social Democratic Party government again without coalition.

What was the budget presented by Magdalena Andersson?

The government proposed a budget which aimed at accelerating the climate transition, getting more people into work, strengthening the welfare system and making “Sweden a safe and secure country for all”.

The government had proposed a budget bill spending a total of SEK 74 billion ($8.15 million).

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Magdalena Andersson was Sweden’s first female prime minister. (Erik Simander/TT News Agency via AP)

Calling climate a defining issue of the current time, Andersson’s budget proposed measures to ensure that Sweden would maintain a leading position in climate transition. The budget aimed at contributing to “infrastructure that leads to a more sustainable society and to accelerate work to transition to a more circular economy and a greener everyday life”.

The budget also proposed measures to contain the unemployment crisis that has taken over the country due to the pandemic but getting more people into work and “maintain the economic recovery, press back long-term and youth unemployment and widen the bottlenecks in the labour market”.

Along with this, the budget also proposed strengthening the welfare system with more accessible health and social care, secure social insurance benefits for a sustainable working life, equitable knowledge-based school education and a widespread culture and sport throughout the country.

Who will become the next Prime Minister of Sweden?

Magdalena Andersson has said that she would lead again and form a social democratic government without seeking any coalition this time.

According to the Swedish Constitution, “If the prime minister chooses to resign after an election, he or she approaches the Speaker of the Riksdag with a request to step down from office. If the prime minister chooses to remain in office after an election, a vote on the prime minister is held in the Riksdag within two weeks from the newly elected members first convening in the Riksdag.”

After stepping down, in a Facebook Post, Andersson had written, “The Center Party, the Left Party and the Environment Party have all announced that they will accept me as prime minister. I am excited to start working because I know that Sweden can do better.”

The speaker has proposed Andersson’s name to be the next Prime Minister and the voting is set to be held on Monday.

Andersson has said that her government would be focusing on three main areas: act against the increasing “gross violence” plaguing Sweden; increase the pace of climate change and create future jobs in the country; and ensure welfare of employees with safe social security and pensions.

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