By Jay Ann Ramirez
TORONTO – Sweden’s first female prime minister Magdalena Andersson resigned from her post on Wednesday, Nov. 24, after holding power for less than eight hours, but she might return to her post next week.
Andersson’s resignation came after her budget proposal lost to the opposition in a parliament vote after the Green Party left the minority coalition government.
New Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has resigned after just a few hours in power. The move comes following a budget defeat in parliament – which voted in favour of the oppositions’ budget.
— Sweden.se (@swedense) November 24, 2021
Her budget proposal got 143 votes, while the opposition’s budget proposal received 154 votes.
According to Sweden’s Sveriges Television’s official website, the opposition proposed spending more than 20 billion kronor (over CAD$2.8 billion) in 2022 for tax reduction, salary increase for police officers, and more financial support for the justice system.
Andersson’s budget plan, which she revealed in September this year, includes “aggressive reforms” that would amount to 74 billion kronor.
“We are now presenting a budget with aggressive reforms for the climate, jobs, welfare, and law enforcement. Together, we will take Sweden forward after the pandemic,” said Andersson, who is also the country’s Minister for Finance.
The Green Party immediately released a statement on Facebook, saying that it “will not enter a government that is forced to govern a budget negotiated by the Swedish Democrats.”
The opposition parties are composed of the Moderates, Christian Democrats, and Sweden Democrats.
“We must be able to see our voters in the eyes and be proud of the policy being implemented. We will not stand behind a policy that fires on the climate crisis, increases the economic gaps, and gives SD a real influence over Swedish politics,” the Green Party statement added.
Andersson, in a news conference, said: “I have met the speaker and asked to be relieved of my duties as prime minister. But I have also told him that I am ready to be a prime minister but in a single-party Social Democrat government.”
The 54-year-old Andersson, who also heads the country’s Finance department, might be re-elected next week after the country’s speaker of parliament Andreas Norlen said in a news conference Thursday that his “intention is, later this afternoon to nominate Magdalena Andersson to the post of Sweden’s prime minister.”
Norlen said he deeply regretted what happened to Andersson on Wednesday, adding that the “behavior risks hurting the people’s trust in a parliament and politics.”
News reports are speculating Andersson’s appointment next week will be successful as the Centre, Greens, and Left parties said they would support the appointment.
This is the first time Sweden elected a woman to hold the highest post. The other Nordic countries like Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland all had women Prime Ministers.
Andersson succeeded Stefan Lofven, who resigned on November 10 this year.
Since Andersson resigned today, Lofven will still lead the government in a caretaking capacity.
A prime minister in the Swedish Constitution can be named and govern as long as a minimum of 175 lawmakers, a parliamentary majority, is not opposed.
Sweden will hold a general election on September 11, 2022.
According to the Government Offices of Sweden website, the country is governed in a parliamentary democracy, and that all people are represented by the Swedish parliament, which is called the Riksdag.