Sweden has had more than 30 prime ministers in its recent history – all of them men. Lofven had recently left Anderson to head the Social Democrats. Now, the recent agreement with the Left Party finally ensured that the former Finance Minister of the Reichstag in Stockholm got the necessary support. It was enough for Andersen that no majority in the Reichstag spoke against them.
Due to the narrow majority, the vote was very narrow: 174 deputies voted against it – a lack of 175 votes in the 349-seat parliament was necessary to block her way to the position of head of government. Andersen recently received an exploratory mandate to form a government from Parliament Speaker Andreas Norlin. At the beginning of the week, Norlin finally proposed her for the highest political position in the country.
Very fragile majority relations
At this point, Red-Green had been negotiating a deal with the left for several days—finally successfully: on Tuesday evening, a deal was struck to increase the lowest pensions—which also meant the party would not oppose Anderson in Parliament.
The majority in the Reichstag has been very shaky since the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats gained strength: Red and Green only share 116 of the 349 seats in parliament, so the opposition could have blocked Andersen’s path with a clear majority. The Center and Left party, which had also waved to Leuven in such a vote in the summer, abstained. This Anderson just confirmed.
Anderson becomes Prime Minister
Social Democrat Magdalena Andersson becomes Sweden’s first female prime minister. She got a slim majority in the vote in Parliament. The 54-year-old succeeds Stefan Lofven, who has been in office since 2014 and tendered his resignation two weeks ago.
Andersen inherited many problems from her predecessor Lofven: on the other hand, the epidemic, in which Sweden chose a special path with relatively loose measures, did not survive so far in the far north of the European Union. On the other hand, the Scandinavian country has been grappling with rampant gang crime for a long time.
Reducing values and dismantling taboos
The new prime minister also faces a difficult task in other ways: Opinion polls show that the Social Democrats are nearing their lowest approval ratings in history. On the other hand, the Conservatives have abandoned their explicit demarcation of the Swedish Democrats and are ready to rule with them. This would create new majority relationships that were not possible before.
Observers believe that this is the reason behind Lofven’s sudden decision to step down as prime minister less than a year before the parliamentary elections. His resignation gives Anderson and the party an opportunity to reposition themselves and campaign under new leadership.
Close friends of Löfven
Anderson is a close friend of the former Prime Minister and yet she has a very different background from the former Leuven Metalworkers’ Union: at the age of sixteen, she joined the Social Democrats. During her studies at the elite Stockholm trade school, she became involved in the party youth organization. In 1996 she became an employee of then Prime Minister Goran Persson.
Since then she has moved between party offices and senior officials. At first she was part of the left wing of the party, according to experts – but she fully supported the “pragmatic” change of course of the Social Democrats towards the political center.
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