Magdalena Andersson gets second shot at power after Sweden's political chaos

Andersson resigned as prime-minister elect when coalition partner backed out

Magdalena Andersson resigned after one of her coalition partners pulled out of her government. AP
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Magdalena Andersson will get another shot at becoming Sweden’s first female prime minister next week after her first government collapsed within hours.

Ms Andersson was elected by Sweden’s Parliament on Wednesday but had not even formally taken office before she resigned when the Green party backed out of her minority government.

She will seek a fresh mandate next week with only her Social Democratic Party behind her, in a vote which merely requires that there not be a parliamentary majority against her.

Parliament Speaker Andreas Norlen, who oversees the government-building process, said on Thursday that he “deeply regrets the course of events”.

“This makes politics seem unreasonable and unpredictable,” he said of Wednesday’s chaos. “This kind of behaviour risks hurting the people’s trust in parliament and politics.”

He said he would not have nominated Ms Andersson in Wednesday’s vote if he had known the Greens would withdraw from the coalition.

The environmentalists pulled out after Ms Andersson failed to pass a budget in parliament, with concessions to the Left Party proving too much for another bloc.

MPs instead adopted an alternative budget presented by the opposition Moderates, Christian Democrats and far-right Sweden Democrats.

Ms Andersson had said she could live with such a budget but the Greens said they could not tolerate a “historic budget drafted by the far right”.

That led Sweden into uncharted territory and prompted Ms Andersson to step back, leaving departing Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in power as caretaker.

Another vote in the 349-seat Swedish Parliament was scheduled for Monday. Although Ms Andersson has no majority, the parties to her right are divided because no mainstream bloc wants to work with the Sweden Democrats.

The Greens have indicated they will not oppose her, meaning it is likely there will still be no majority against Ms Andersson.

But she will face a tricky task to run a minority government if she does succeed Mr Lofven as prime minister next week.

Ms Andersson has promised to tackle gang crime, revamp the welfare state and make Sweden a leader in tackling climate change.

An election is due next year, with polls showing neither the Social Democrat-led bloc nor the conservative camp with a clear lead.

Updated: November 25, 2021, 5:11 PM