Sweden’s first female prime minister names a centre-left government

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – Sweden’s first female prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, on Tuesday presented her one-party centre-left minority government with only a handful of changes from the previous Cabinet.

Andersson, who served as Sweden’s finance minister, chose Mikael Damberg to replace her in that role. Damberg previously served as interior minister.

Andersson, the leader of the Social Democrats, was elected again on Monday as head of the Scandinavian nation’s government. She resigned last week after spending just seven hours as prime minister as budget failures prompted her then coalition partner, the Greens, to abandon her bipartisan coalition.

The move follows her government’s rejection of a budget proposal in favor of proposals by opposition parties, including the right-wing populist Swedish Democrats, which have roots in neo-Nazi movement.

On Monday, Andersson was appointed prime minister although 101 lawmakers voted in favor of her appointment and 173 opposed, with 75 abstaining. Under the Swedish Constitution, prime ministers can rule as long as a parliamentary majority – a minimum of 175 lawmakers – does not oppose them.

Andersson kept Ann Linde as secretary of state and Peter Hultqvist as secretary of defense.

The Greens have held the environment and culture ministries in the government before. Social Democrats Annika Strandhall and Jeanette Gustafsdotter took up those two posts.

Andersson has replaced Stefan Lofven as party leader and prime minister, roles he gave up earlier this year. She was officially installed following an audience with King Carl XVI Gustav at a ceremony on Tuesday at Stockholm’s Royal Palace, which was also attended by the heir to the throne, Princess Victoria.

Lofven, who once led the Swedish government as a carer, resigned earlier in the day.

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


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