Sweden’s first female prime minister quits hours later

Magdalena Andersson resigned after suffering a budget defeat in parliament and its coalition partner left the two-party minority government

Sweden’s first female prime minister quits hours later

Magdalena Andersson. Reuters file

Copenhagen, November 24

Hours after being tapped as Sweden’s prime minister, Magdalena Andersson resigned on Wednesday after suffering a budget defeat in parliament and its coalition partner left the two-party minority government.

“For me, it is about respect, but I also do not want to lead a government where there may be grounds to question its legitimacy,” Andersson told a news conference.

Andersson has informed parliamentary Speaker Anderas Norlen that she is still interested in leading a Social Democratic one-party government.

She said that “a coalition government should resign if a party chooses to leave the government. Despite the fact that the parliamentary situation is unchanged, it needs to be tried again”.

Andersson was tapped to replace Stefan Lofven as party leader and prime minister, roles he relinquished earlier this year.

The development marked a milestone for Sweden, viewed for decades as one of Europe’s most progressive countries when it comes to gender relations, but which had yet to have a woman in the top political post.

In a speech to parliament, Amineh Kakabaveh, an independent lawmaker who supported Andersson, noted that Sweden is currently celebrating the 100th anniversary of a decision to introduce universal and equal suffrage in the Scandinavian country.

“If women are only allowed to vote but are never elected to the highest office, democracy is not complete,” Kakabaveh who is of Iranian Kurdish descent, said.

“There is something symbolic in this decision,” she added. AP

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