On the verge of history: Magdalena Andersson set to become Sweden’s first woman PM

Magdalena Andersson, the current finance minister, will become PM if she wins the vote in Parliament

Sravasti Dasgupta
Thursday 11 November 2021 09:52
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Magdalena Andersson a step closer to becoming Sweden’s first female prime minister

Sweden’s prime minister Stefan Lofven has resigned, paving the way for Magdalena Andersson to succeed him and become the country’s first woman premier.

Ms Andersson, 54, the current finance minister, was elected last week to lead the ruling Swedish Social Democrats Party ahead of the general elections scheduled for September 2022. She will become the country’s premier if she wins a vote in parliament next week.

While Sweden has been a hallmark of gender equality, no woman has led the nation so far. In comparison, all other Nordic countries, including Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, have seen women heads of government.

In order to secure her confirmation, the Swedish Social Democrats need the support of both their Green Party coalition partners and the Left and Centre parties, reported AFP. The Left and Centre parties said on Wednesday that they will support Ms Andersson next week.

Mr Lofven, 63, who will remain as caretaker prime minister till his replacement, told reporters that he expects Parliament to elect Ms Andersson smoothly. “The Swedish people want a quick transition,” he said.

Mr Lofven was elected by the Swedish Social Democrats in 2012 and led it to victory in the 2014 general elections, when the party came to power after eight years in opposition.

“It has been seven fantastic years, and I am very proud as a working boy to have had the privilege of leading our country during these years,” he said after resigning on Wednesday.

In June, he became the country’s first prime minister to lose a confidence motion in Parliament. However, he managed to form a coalition government that was the same as the previous one and avoided a snap election.

He had said in August that he would resign in November to give his successor time to prepare for the upcoming elections.

However, the Swedish Social Democrats’ return to power may not be as smooth as it faces low approval ratings ahead of elections. The opposition Moderates have inched closer to the Swedish Social Democrats in recent years.

The Social Democrats currently hold 100 of Parliament’s 349 seats.

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