The Prime Minister of Sweden has resigned only hours after her election, as the coalition government she helmed falls apart over a budget vote.
A coalition government is a feature of parliament-style government in which political parties cooperate to form the government. They are often considered more stable and more legitimate than minority governments, which is when a single party gets enough votes to form the government themselves.
Magdalena Andersson, a social democrat and the leader of Sweden’s most recent coalition government, was the country’s first female Prime Minister for about six hours. In one of her very first acts as PM, she brought a budget to the table for vote. But it wasn’t one her party members were happy with.
The Centre Party withdrew their support for the budget due to concessions made to the Left. Hasty revisions were drawn up, this time heavily influenced by conservative Moderates and far-right Sweden Democrats. This revised budget won by a narrow margin – 154-143. But now it was unacceptable to the Greens Party.
Greens Party leader Per Bolund said that his constituents could not tolerate the new “historic budget, drafted for the first time with the far-right.” He criticized the new budget as being discriminatory and “butchering the environmental budget.” In protest his party quit the coalition government. It was this that led to Andersson’s resignation.
“There is a constitutional practice that a coalition government should resign when one party quits,” Andersson told international reporters.
“I don’t want to lead a government whose legitimacy will be questioned.”
She hopes to be reelected soon, as head of a minority government within her party of Social Democrats. She had not even officially assumed her duties as the Prime Minister of Sweden – that was scheduled after the parliamentary vote to approve her on Wednesday morning and a meeting with King Carl XVI Gustaf on Friday.