The new Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson. (GOVERNMENT OF SWEDEN)
The Swedish Parliament elected Social Democrat Magdalena Andersson as Prime Minister on Wednesday, who will head a minority red-green government in place of Stefan Löfven, who resigned on November 10 after seven years as Prime Minister in a long-anticipated move to give room for his successor to prepare the general elections of September 2022.
Andersson, the first woman to govern Sweden, received 117 votes in favor, 174 against and 57 abstentions, thus fulfilling the condition established in the Swedish system to be elected prime minister: not having a majority in the House against, set at 175 seats. In the Swedish system, the candidate for prime minister does not need a majority in favor of Parliament, simply to avoid a majority against him among the 349 MPs.
Andersson, who took over the leadership of the Social Democratic party in November, will formally assume his duties following a meeting with King Carlos XVI Gustav on Friday.
Bjorn Larsson Rosvall / TT News Agency / via REUTERS / Photo archive
The party is touching its all-time lows of support and is threatened by the moderate conservatives, who recently approached the anti-immigration party of the Sweden Democrats.
The 54-year-old social democratic leader and economist, who last night closed a pact with the socialists that allowed her to secure the election, will face another vote in the House hours later on the next budgets in which she is not guaranteed a majority and could force her to govern with the right-wing opposition.
“We have reached an agreement to strengthen the income of the poorest pensioners,” Andersson told SVT public television after the pact.
In turn, in statements to Swedish public radio, the leader of the Left Party, Nooshi Dadgostar confirmed, “We are not going to block Andersson.”
Swedish Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson is congratulated by Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, after being elected party leader of the Social Democratic Party, at the party congress, in Gothenburg, Sweden, on November 4, 2021. Bjorn Larsson Rosvall / TT News Agency / via REUTERS
Well-being, climate and crime
Although for a long time Sweden has been considered a benchmark in gender equality, it has never had a woman at the head of the government unlike the rest of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland).
After taking the lead from the Social Democrats, this former junior swimming champion, often described as “pragmatic” and “technocratic bureaucrat,” set three political priorities.
The first was “to regain democratic control of schools, health and care for the elderly” and move the welfare sector away from privatization.
Magdalena Andersson wants to make Sweden a model for climate transition. Adam Ihse / TT News Agency via REUTERS / File Photo
He also advocated making Sweden a model for climate transition.
And finally, he opted to end the segregation, shootings and explosions that have impacted the country in recent years, often due to rivalries between gangs or drug trafficking groups.
This violence has particularly hit disadvantaged neighborhoods with large immigrant populations, but has spread to other areas.
In 2020, 47 people were killed in 366 shootings in this country of 10.3 million people, according to official statistics. There were also 107 explosions and 102 attempts.
Adam Ihse / TT News Agency via REUTERS
Crime and immigration were featured as major issues in the elections.
Lund University political analyst Anders Sannerstedt had predicted a “tight career”. Furthermore, he did not anticipate “big changes” in government policy once Andersson took over.
(with information from EFE and AFP)
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