The Social Democrat Magdalena Andersson has resigned as Prime Minister of Sweden just seven hours after becoming the first woman to rule the Nordic country.
Andersson has announced his resignation after suffering a budget defeat in Parliament and following the departure of the Greens from the ruling coalition. “For me, it is a matter of respect, but I do not want to lead a government in which its legitimacy can be questioned,” he said. “A coalition government should resign if a party decides to leave government.”
The crisis has exploded with the last minute abstention of the Centrist Party from the government budgets. In its place, the opposition’s budget proposal has been approved, in which the far-right party Sweden Democrats has participated, forcing the Executive to govern under opposition budgets. “We cannot sit in a government with a budget negotiated by Sweden’s Democrats,” said the leaders of the Green Party.
The next steps to take are not entirely clear. House Speaker Andreas Norlén has stated that he will discuss the situation with the leaders of the eight parties and announce a decision on Thursday afternoon.
For its part, the Green Party has said it would support Magdalena Andersson in another vote to elect prime minister if it happens. This means that Andersson could end up as prime minister again if no party changes its position in supporting her appointment. Andersson received 117 votes in favor, 174 against, with 57 abstentions on Wednesday morning. It had the support of the two smaller parties that supported the former minority center-left Swedish government led by Löfven: the Left Party and the Center Party, which abstained.
Andersson’s election was assured after closing an agreement with the Socialist Left Party on Tuesday night, which includes an improvement to lower pensions and which closes two weeks of negotiations since he received the order to form a government.
Andersson had already been committed for weeks to abstention from the Centrist Party, with which he had a pact since January 2019, although he risked having his support withdrawn if he made too many concessions to the Socialists.
The centrist leader, Annie Lööf, has maintained her commitment but had communicated that she would not support the government’s budgets as a “consequence” of the latter negotiating directly with the Socialist Left.
Source: El Diario (Spain).