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Sweden's First Female PM Resigns Within Hours

Magdalena Andersson was brought down by budget dispute
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2021 6:20 PM CST
Updated Nov 25, 2021 12:05 AM CST
Sweden's First Female PM Resigns on First Day
Sweden's Finance Minister and Scocial Democratic Party leader Magdalena Andersson holds flowers after a vote appointing her as Sweden's new prime minister, in the Swedish parliament Riksdagen, in Stockhom, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021.   (Erik Simander/TT News Agency via AP)

(Newser) – Magdalena Andersson broke two records in Swedish politics Wednesday: She became the country's first female prime minister Wednesday morning, and became the country's shortest-serving PM less than eight hours later. Andersson, leader of the Social Democratic Party, resigned after the Green Party quit the two-party coalition over a budget issue, reports Reuters. In a shocking defeat for Andersson Wednesday, the country's parliament rejected her government's budget and instead voted 154-143 for the opposition's budget proposal, the AP reports. The Green Party said it could not accept any budget drafted by the far-right Sweden Democrats Party. Andersson said she didn't want to lead a " government where there may be grounds to question its legitimacy."

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Andersson, who served as the country's finance minister for seven years, was elected party leader earlier this month following the resignation of Prime Minister Stefan Lotven. Under the Swedish system, a lawmaker can become prime minister as long as 175 members of the 349-seat parliament do not vote against them. She became prime minister by one vote after 117 lawmakers voted yes and 174 voted no. Another 57 lawmakers abstained, and one was absent. After the resignation, parliamentary Speaker Andreas Norlen said he would hold talks with the eight party leaders and seek a way forward.

"The complexities of Swedish politics mean we can't assume we've seen the last of her," writes Maddy Savage at the BBC. Andersson has said she will seek to return as PM without a coalition, and the Greens have said they will support her without a formal coalition deal. "But she'd end up in a vulnerable position at the helm of a fragile minority government, and would still have to stick to the right-wing budget already voted on by parliament," Savage writes. Reuters notes that Andersson's brief premiership meant that Sweden, which first allowed women to vote 100 years ago, is no longer the only Nordic country that has never had a female prime minister. (Read more Sweden stories.)

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