Leader of the Social Democratic Party has confirmed Stefan Lofven’s successor as outgoing Prime Minister.
Sweden‘s parliament confirmed Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson as the country’s first female prime minister.
The 54-year-old, who took over as leader of the ruling Social Democratic Party earlier this month, was elected as retiring leader Stefan Lofven’s successor during a confirmation vote in parliament on Wednesday.
A total of 117 MPs voted for her, while 174 voted against her. Fifty-seven abstained.
Under Sweden’s system, a prime ministerial candidate does not need the support of a majority in parliament, they just do not need to have a majority against them.
Andersson, who currently serves as Sweden’s finance minister, will formally take over as prime minister following a meeting with King Carl XVI Gustaf on Friday.
Despite the fact that Sweden is a nation that has long campaigned for gender equality, Sweden has never had a woman as prime minister.
All other Nordic countries – Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland – have seen women lead their governments.
Left Party Agreement
Andersson’s appointment came after she reached a last-minute deal with the Left Party on Tuesday, securing key support in exchange for a promise to raise pensions.
“We have reached an agreement to strengthen the finances of the poorest pensioners,” Andersson told public broadcaster SVT after the agreement was announced.
Nooshi Dadgostar, leader of the Left Party, also confirmed the agreement. “We are not going to block Andersson,” she told Swedish Radio.
Andersson has already received the support of the Greens, the Social Democrats’ coalition partner in government.
The Center Party has said it will not prevent her from taking over after Lofven’s decision to retire earlier this month and runs the risk of creating an alternative right-wing government.
However, Center Party leader Annie Loof said her party would not vote “yes” to the government’s proposed budget in a vote in parliament later Wednesday, which means an opposition’s financial bill is likely to pass.
She said the agreement between the ruling coalition and the Left Party “pulled the government further to the left”.
Three opposition parties have proposed a joint budget that is likely to get parliamentary approval sooner, and threaten to plunge Andersson into an immediate crisis.
This means that Andersson is likely to rule on right-of-middle budget policies, at least until the spring, when the government has a chance to revise policy in a new budget bill.
Lofven, the outgoing prime minister, accepted such a post in 2014 but said he would not do it again until he plan to resign. This move was aimed at giving his successor time to prepare for the country’s general election in September 2022.
Andersson did not say whether she would resign or continue if the opposition’s financial bill passed.