Toronto Star

First female PM named, then quits

Andersson resigns within hours of budget defeat


Hours after being tapped as Sweden’s prime minister, Magdalena Andersson resigned Wednesday after suffering a budget defeat in Parliament and coalition partner the Greens left the two-party minority government.

“For me, it is about respect, but I also do not want to lead a government where there may be grounds to question its legitimacy,” Andersson told a news conference.

Andersson has informed parliament­ary Speaker Anderas Norlen that she is still interested in leading a Social Democratic one-party government.

She said that “a coalition government should resign if a party chooses to leave the government. Despite the fact that the parliament­ary situation is unchanged, it needs to be tried again.”

The speaker of Sweden’s 349-seat Parliament Andreas Norlen said he had received Andersson’s resignatio­n and will contact the party leaders “to discuss the situation,” the Swedish news agency TT said. On Thursday, he will announce the road ahead.

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.

“Now the government has voted for a budget that has been negotiated by a right-wing extremist party,” Green Party spokespers­on Per Bolund said. “That is something we deeply regret.”

Andersson’s appointmen­t as prime minister had marked a milestone for Sweden, viewed for decades as one of Europe’s most progressiv­e countries when it comes to gender relations, but which had yet to have a woman in the top post.

Sweden’s next general election is scheduled for Sept. 11.

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