Sweden’s first female PM resigns following resignation vote

Video Sweden’s first female prime minister has resigned after just a few hours in office. Magdalena Andersson, 49, lost a confidence vote against her on Friday after she was unable to explain why she…

Sweden's first female PM resigns following resignation vote

Video

Sweden’s first female prime minister has resigned after just a few hours in office.

Magdalena Andersson, 49, lost a confidence vote against her on Friday after she was unable to explain why she paid back part of a million Swedish crowns (the equivalent of £800,000) in expenses.

Her resignation now takes effect on Saturday.

Her deputy is due to take over.

According to the Swedish tabloid Expressen, Ms Andersson’s resignation could be a blow to women’s rights ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act.

She will also become the fifth female leader to lead Sweden since 1893, making her the most powerful woman in the Scandinavian country, which is Europe’s most prosperous.

In an email to the media, she said she had stepped down because she couldn’t stand the “old-school politics” for much longer.

After her defeat, Ms Andersson said: “As a politician with a very clear brand, it doesn’t make sense to me to change.”

She added that she would lead the campaign against the street prostitution-related legalisation initiative known as “SOS”.

Ms Andersson’s decision to stand for election – under the banner of the Green Party – last year was something of a watershed moment for Sweden.

It was also the first time a Green Party leader had achieved prominence on the national stage.

After winning just 4.6% of the vote, she narrowly failed to reach the necessary five-percent threshold to win a seat in the lower house of parliament, the Riksdag.

Ms Andersson could be replaced by Leader of the Moderates Andreas Norlen.

The Green Party said it would continue campaigning regardless of who became prime minister.

A little more than a year ago, Mr Norlen, who is 52, was elected to the Riksdag.

That election was in late 2017. By the time she had been given responsibility for government business in April this year, Mr Norlen was already widely seen as one of her closest allies.

BBC European politics correspondent Matthew Price said that Ms Andersson’s resignation was just one more example of men taking over power in Sweden.

A number of women sat in the Swedish government in the past two years, including Crown Princess Victoria.

But our correspondent says these appointments were just a side issue compared to the high-profile progress that Ms Andersson had made, as a feminist and as a politician.

“It is a really sad sign that this woman has not lasted a full year,” he said.

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