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Sweden appoints finance chief as first female prime minister

Andersson, who has been finance minister since 2014, still faces a fragmented legislature

Sweden | Europe | world leaders

Niclas Rolander | Bloomberg 

Magdalena Andersson
Magdalena Andersson | File photo

Sweden’s Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson became the largest Nordic nation’s first female prime minister after winning a narrow vote in parliament.

A last-minute deal with the ex-communist Left Party ensured that a majority of lawmakers accepted the Social Democrat leader in a parliamentary vote, 100 years after women in the country known for its egalitarian foundations were first able to exercise full voting rights.

Andersson, who has been finance minister since 2014, still faces a fragmented legislature after the Nordic nation’s have been upended by the emergence of the far-right Democrats in the last decade. Her government only controls about a third of the seats, and later Wednesday, her spending proposal for next year is set to be dismissed in favor of an opposition bill.

The budget vote illustrates that the kind of deal-making that carried Andersson’s predecessor Stefan Lofven to power may be a thing of the past.

While Lofven was able to form a government after an inconclusive 2018 election by cooperating with traditional opponents, a similar solution looks distant for Andersson, as center-right parties have retreated from their support at the same time as the Left has taken a more assertive stance.

Sweden’s next general elections are set to be held in September next year, and current opinion polls indicate no clear winner.

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First Published: Wed, November 24 2021. 15:57 IST