The Swedish Parliament has elected the Social Democrat Magdalena Andersson as Prime Minister on Wednesday, who will head a minority red-green government in place of Stefan Löfven, who left the post a few weeks ago.
The Swedish Government of the Social Democrat Stefan Löfven loses the vote of no confidence
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. It had the backing of the two smaller parties that supported the former minority center-left Swedish government led by Löfven: the Left Party and the Center Party, which abstained.
The independent deputy Amineh Kakabaveh, who has supported Andersson, has pointed out in her speech before Parliament that “there is something symbolic in this decision,” it states AP. Sweden is currently celebrating the centenary of the adoption of universal and equal suffrage.
“If women can only vote but are never elected to the highest positions, democracy is not complete,” said Kakabaveh, of Iranian Kurdish origin.
The Social Democratic leader, who on Tuesday night closed a pact with the Socialists that allowed her to secure the election, will have to face in the next few hours another vote in the House on the next budgets in which the majority is not guaranteed and that could force her to govern with the opposition of the right.
Andersson’s election was assured after closing an agreement with the Socialist Left Party on Tuesday night, which includes an improvement to lower pensions and which closes two weeks of negotiations since he received the order to form a government.
Andersson had already been committed for weeks to abstention from the Centrist Party, with which he has had a pact since January 2019, although he risked having his support withdrawn if he made too many concessions to the Socialists.
The centrist leader, Annie Lööf, has maintained her commitment but has communicated that she will not support the government’s budgets and has pointed out that it is a “consequence” of the latter negotiating directly with the Socialist Left. If Lööf keeps his promise, Andersson will not have a majority to carry out his budgets and will have to govern with those jointly presented by conservatives, Christian Democrats and the far-right Sweden Democrats (SD).
Until the general elections of 2018, all the parties refused to actively collaborate with the SD due to its xenophobic tinge, which provoked in this legislature a pact of the Social Democrats with two center forces that has allowed them to govern since then.
But both conservatives and Christian Democrats have modified their position and now openly accept to negotiate with the SD, although they assure that they will not include this force in a hypothetical government that emerged from the next legislative elections in September 2022.
Resignation of Löfven
Andersson’s coming to power has been triggered by the unexpected resignation of his predecessor, Stefan Löfven, who announced in August that he would be stepping down from all positions to ease the future for his successor.
Löfven, who headed a minority red-green executive since 2014, had become the first incumbent Swedish head of government at the end of June to lose a vote of no confidence, presented by the Socialist Left to stop a reform of the housing rental regime . The withdrawal of the project by the centrists, however, paved the way for Löfven to be elected prime minister again a couple of weeks later.
Magdalena Andersson, 54, who is expected to present her new cabinet this Friday, has been Finance Minister since 2014 and one of the figures with the best image in the government.