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Sweden's first female prime minister resigns hours after appointed

AFP

clock 2 min read

Former Prime Minister-elect Magdalena Andersson addresses a press conference after the budget vote in the Swedish parliament, in Stockholm, Sweden, on November 24, 2021.
TT NEWS AGENCY / AFPFormer Prime Minister-elect Magdalena Andersson addresses a press conference after the budget vote in the Swedish parliament, in Stockholm, Sweden, on November 24, 2021.

'I don't want to lead a government whose legitimacy will be questioned,' Andersson told reporters

Sweden's Prime Minister-elect Magdalena Andersson on Wednesday tendered her resignation just hours after her appointment by parliament, after her budget failed to pass and the junior Greens Party left the coalition government.

"There is a constitutional practice that a coalition government should resign when one party quits," Andersson, a Social Democrat, told reporters.

"I don't want to lead a government whose legitimacy will be questioned."

Andersson said she hoped to be elected to the position again soon as the head of a minority government made up of only the Social Democrats.

In a turbulent sequence of events, Andersson became the first woman elected to the post of prime minister in Sweden after clinching a last-minute deal with the Left Party to raise pensions in exchange for its backing in Wednesday's vote.

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But the small Centre Party then withdrew its support for Andersson's budget, due to the concessions made to the Left, leaving her budget with insufficient votes to pass in parliament.

Parliament instead adopted an alternative budget presented by the opposition conservative Moderates, Christian Democrats and far-right Sweden Democrats. 

The fatal blow came when Greens leader Per Bolund said his party could not tolerate the opposition's "historic budget, drafted for the first time with the far-right," and quit the government.

Among other things, it said the opposition's planned tax cut on gas would lead to higher emissions.

Speaker of parliament Andreas Norlen said he accepted Andersson's resignation and would contact party leaders before deciding Thursday how to proceed.