So this time is the right one. After an incredible election-resignation in the space of seven hours last week, Swedish Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson was re-elected Prime Minister on Monday November 29 by Parliament and will be able to officially become the first woman to hold this post in the country.
Until now Minister of Finance, Magdalena Andersson was elected by the deputies with 173 votes against, 101 votes for and 75 abstentions. In Sweden, a government is approved as long as an absolute majority of 175 deputies does not vote its censure. This 54-year-old economist succeeds the resigning Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.
Barring an improbable new surprise, the election closes the soap opera of the transition of social democratic power caused by the departure of the latter, who had passed the hand at the beginning of the month after seven years in power and less than a year of legislative elections September 2022. The presentation of his government to King Carl XVI Gustaf, which officially marks his assumption of office, is expected on Tuesday.
During a staggering day of parliamentarism last Wednesday, Magdalena Andersson was first elected prime minister, then outvoted on her budget by the right-wing opposition and finally forced to resign after the surprise departure of environmentalists from the government.
As a result of this departure from the Green Party, the former high-level swimmer will lead an entirely social-democratic government. Sweden has never had a female prime minister since the post was created in 1876, unlike all the other Nordic countries.
Political domino game
Mme Andersson was the victim of a painful game of political dominoes. If it had secured in extremis the support necessary to come to power, thanks to an agreement with the Left Party to increase small pensions, the Center Party, dissatisfied with the concessions made to the left wing, had withdrawn its support for the budget, without blocking its rise to power.
Consequence: the same Parliament which elected her in the morning put her budget in a minority in the afternoon and adopted that of the right-wing opposition, prepared for the first time with the extreme right of the Democrats of Sweden (SD). In the process, his environmental ally, the only other party in the minority government coalition, slammed the door, deeming it unacceptable to govern with a budget bearing the seal of the far right. This decision then forced Mme Andersson to return his barely acquired apron.
An unprecedented scenario
“There is a constitutional practice whereby a coalition government resigns when a party leaves it. I do not want to lead a government whose legitimacy is questioned ”, she explained at a press conference. Although used to the complexities of its parliamentarism, the Nordic country had never experienced such a scenario.
The succession to the head of Sweden takes place less than a year from the legislative elections of September 2022, which promise to be tight. Mme Andersson will have to convince voters by then. With some 25% in the polls, the Social Democratic Party retains its rank as the leading political party in Sweden, but is close to its historic lows. He will have to counter his great rival, the conservative Moderates party, in a new configuration. The latter has moved closer to the extreme right-wing Democrats of Sweden and is now ready to govern with his support in Parliament.