Sweden’s first female prime minister resigned just hours after her election
Just hours after her inauguration as Sweden’s first female prime minister, Magdalena Andersson dramatically resigned Wednesday night after suffering a budget defeat in Parliament and then losing her coalition partner in a two-party minority government.
Anderson said the Greens’ decision to quit the two-party coalition forced her to resign, but added that she had told the speaker of parliament that she hoped to be appointed prime minister again as head of the one-party government.
The Green Party said it would leave the government after parliament rejected the coalition budget bill.
“For me, it’s about respect, but I also don’t want to lead a government where there might be reasons to question its legitimacy,” Anderson said at a news conference.
She added: “The coalition government should resign if the party chooses to withdraw from the government. Although the parliamentary situation has not changed, it needs to try again.”
Her resignation was a shocking turn in a dramatic and historic day in Swedish politics. Hours earlier, Sweden’s parliament approved Andersson’s becoming the country’s first female president after she recently became head of the ruling Social Democratic Party.
With the budget vote looming, Anderson said earlier on Wednesday that she wouldn’t resign if she lost, but changed her mind later in the day.
“I am the one who saw it [the opposition budget] “As everything I can live with,” Anderson told reporters at a news conference.
Her appointment was essentially a milestone for Sweden, which had long been seen as one of the most progressive countries in Europe when it came to gender equality, but which still had to hold a high-ranking political position by a woman.
In a speech to Parliament, Amina Kakapavi, an independent member who supported Ms Anderson, noted that Sweden is currently celebrating the centenary of the decision to introduce universal and equal suffrage in the Scandinavian country.
“If women are only allowed to vote but never elected to a higher office, democracy will not be complete,” Kakapavi said. “There is something symbolic in this decision.”
Andersen sought to secure the support of two other small parties that had supported the former minority center-left government in Sweden – the Left Party and the Center Party.
The Speaker of Parliament will now decide the next step in the process of forming the new government.