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Sweden’s first female prime minister resigns after eight hours of work

Sweden elected its first-ever female prime minister on Wednesday morning, but resigned just seven and a half hours later after its coalition government lost a key budget vote.

Magdalena Andersson, leader of the Social Democrats, was chosen Wednesday morning in a vote in the Riksdag (Parliament) as the 34th Swedish Prime Minister, replacing the outgoing leader of the Social Democrat Stefan Löfven, in the era of the crisis of migrants. Yet hours later, the Riksdag chairman announced that the search for another new prime minister would begin after Andersson’s government fell before she even had a chance to be sworn in.

The Andersson government’s budget was presented to parliament on Wednesday afternoon but was not passed. Instead, the chamber chose to pass a so-called opposition budget drafted by right-wing minority parties, which if the government had stayed it would have been forced to implement it. The prospect of working on a budget that had been approved by right-wing populists, the Swedish Democrats, was, however, too much for coalition partners, the Greens, who withdrew from government in protest.

This withdrawal means that the Swedish Prime Minister is seen as no longer legitimately leading the government and therefore had to submit her resignation. Andersson said so in her remarks Wednesday night when she said, per Sweden Television: “For me it is about respect, I don’t want to run a government where there may be grounds to question his legitimacy.”

Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet made further comments when the outgoing Prime Minister said: “Of course, I fully understand that this seems to be messy. A party that voted this morning for a prime minister that formed a government with that party has now changed its mind.

The numbers were still against PM Magdalena Andersson – she only avoided her selection as prime minister on Wednesday morning stalled by just one vote, and the upcoming budget vote later today looked likely to fail.

The Swedish centrist party, which had generally supported the Left-Green coalition in the past, voted against the budget today, depriving it of the votes it needed to pass it. This triggered the Greens’ withdrawal from the failed government and, according to the convention of the Swedish system, it means that a new prime minister must be selected again.

The Greens for their part said that the refusal of the centrists to support the government today left them “surprised and outraged”.

A statement from the Speaker of the Swedish Parliament on Wednesday evening said: “The president will now contact party leaders to discuss the situation and will provide information on how the process is to proceed on Thursday afternoon.”

Either way, Andersson may be re-selected as the next prime minister, and despite their withdrawal from government today, the Greens have said they will back Andersson to lead again in the next vote in The direction. As SVT reports: “In a new vote by the Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson therefore seems to be re-elected to this post. “

For now, as it stands, longtime left-wing Swedish leader Stefan Löfven appears to remain acting prime minister as the Andersson government crumbles before being sworn in.

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