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Wed Dec 1, 2021, 10:59 AM

Magdalena Andersson has been elected the first female prime minister of Sweden. Again.

Andersson’s agenda


Who governs Sweden? The question that puzzled Swedes and foreign observers alike during the past few days has been settled: Magdalena Andersson is prime minister. Confusingly enough, she was elected already last week, but had to resign only hours after the applause rang out in the Riksdag, after the Green Party decided to leave the government when the red-green coalition failed to secure support for its budget in the chamber.

Sweden’s constitution does not require the prime minister to be positively endorsed by a majority in parliament. Instead, he—now she—only has to secure tolerance from the MPs, and the opposition was one vote short of the necessary 175, in the 349-seat parliament, to deny that.

At 10 o’clock in the morning of November 24th, 100 years after the introduction of universal suffrage for men and women, the glass ceiling finally broke—also in Sweden, young girls can now imagine themselves as prime minister. Four out of five Nordic countries now have a female premier: Sanna Marin in Finland, Mette Frederiksen in Denmark, Katrín Jakobsdóttir in Iceland … and Magdalena Andersson in Sweden.

Budget vote

Andersson was visibly moved when the vote came but she had little time to celebrate. While tolerance is enough to become head of the government, the procedure to pass the state budget is different. Here, the parliamentary rule is that the most well-supported budget proposal passes. Before Andersson was even formally installed as prime minister, in the vote on the budget later that day the Centre Party would support only its own proposal, withholding 31 votes decisive for the red-green budget to pass. This followed tough negotiations with the Left Party (27 seats) to secure its support.


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