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Sweden’s first female PM resigns hours after appointment

Sweden's first woman prime minister Social Democrat Magdalena Andersson, has resigned after less than 12 hours in the top job after the Green Party quit their two-party coalition, stoking political uncertainty. But Andersson said she had told the speaker of parliament she hoped to be appointed prime minister again as the head of a single-party government.  Andersson resigned Wednesday after suffering a budget defeat in parliament and her coalition partner the Greens left the two-party minority government. The Green Party said it would support her in any new confirmation vote in parliament, while the Centre Party promised to abstain, which in practice amounts to the same as backing her candidacy. The Left Party has also said it would back her.

The government’s own budget proposal was rejected in favour of one presented by the opposition that includes the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats. Sweden’s third largest party is rooted in a neo-Nazi movement. The vote was 154-143 in favour of the opposition’s budget proposal. Speaker Andreas Norlen said he will contact Sweden’s eight party leaders “to discuss the situation”. On Thursday, he will announce the next steps for the 349-seat parliament. Andersson, who was finance minister before briefly becoming prime minister, informed parliamentary Speaker Andreas Norlen that she is still interested in leading a Social Democratic one-party government. Andersson had been tapped to replace Stefan Lofven as party leader and prime minister, roles he relinquished earlier this year. 

Earlier in the day, 117 lawmakers voted yes to Andersson, 174 rejected her appointment while 57 abstained and one lawmaker was absent.Under the Swedish Constitution, prime ministers can be named and govern as long as a parliamentary majority – a minimum of 175 lawmakers – is not against them.  Sweden’s next general election is scheduled for September 11.


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