NPR
Europe

Sweden's first female leader quit last week after a few hours. She was just reelected

1059792098_2042832264.jpg

Social Democratic Party leader Magdalena Andersson poses during a news conference after being appointed as Sweden's first female prime minister at the Swedish parliament in Stockholm on Wednesday. She resigned hours later but was reelected on Monday.
Erik Simander, TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images

Social Democratic Party leader Magdalena Andersson poses during a news conference after being appointed as Sweden's first female prime minister at the Swedish parliament in Stockholm on Wednesday. She resigned hours later but was reelected on Monday.

It looks like Sweden will soon have its first female prime minister after all. She's the same one who resigned last week about seven hours after being tapped to lead the country.

Magdalena Andersson — a 54-year-old former finance minister who leads the Social Democratic Party — was reelected by a slim margin on Monday and will make history when she officially takes office on Tuesday.

Here's what happened. Swedish lawmakers first elected Andersson last Wednesday, but she decided to step down after a budget defeat in parliament made a coalition partner quit.

The government rejected its own budget proposal in favor of one presented by the opposition (which includes the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats), as The Associated Press reported. That prompted the Green Party to leave the two-party minority government.

Andersson later said at a news conference that she did not "want to lead a government where there may be grounds to question its legitimacy." The BBC reports that the prime minister is expected by convention to resign if a coalition party leaves the government.

Support comes from

Andersson also said she would still be interested in leading a Social Democratic one-party government.

And on Monday she won her second election in less than a week.

Of the 349-member Swedish parliament, known as the Riksdag, 101 members voted yes to Andersson, 173 voted no and 75 abstained. The country's constitution allows prime ministers to be appointed as long as a parliamentary majority (175 people) does not vote against them — so it was a close one.

Andersson told reporters after the vote that she's ready to "take Sweden forward" with a platform focused on welfare, climate change and crime, according to the BBC.

English-language news site The Local reports that Andersson will formally announce her Cabinet on Tuesday morning local time. The transition of power will take place shortly after at a change-of-government Cabinet meeting with the King of Sweden at the Royal Palace.

Her new government will remain in place until Sweden's next general election, which is scheduled for next September.

"I don't see this as the start of 10 months, I see this as the start of 10 years," she told reporters at a news conference, according to The Local.

Her election is a huge milestone for one of the world's most gender-equal countries. As the Sweden's official account noted on Twitter, Andersson was preceded in her job by 33 men.


This story originally appeared on the Morning Edition live blog.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
KNPR and NPR Thank-You Gifts including t-shirts hoodies and cap