Sweden confirms Magdalena Andersson as the country’s first female prime minister

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Magdalena Andersson delivers a speech in early November (AFP)
Magdalena Andersson delivers a speech in early November (AFP)

Sweden has officially got its first female prime minister.

On Wednesday morning, parliament approved Magdalena Andersson as the country’s first female leader after she recently became the head of the ruling Social Democratic Party.

Ms Andersson was formerly the finance minister.

The appointment is a notable milestone for Sweden, which has long been viewed as one of Europe’s most progressive countries when it comes to gender equality but has yet to have a woman in the top political post.

In a speech to parliament, Amineh Kakabaveh, an independent member who had supported Ms Andersson, noted that Sweden was currently celebrating the 100th anniversary of a decision to introduce universal and equal suffrage in the Scandinavian country.

“If women are only allowed to vote but are never elected to the highest office, democracy is not complete,” Ms Kakabaveh said. “There is something symbolic in this decision.”

Ms Andersson is likely to form a two-party, minority government with her own party and the Greens.

The 54-year-old had sought to secure the backing of two smaller parties that had supported Sweden’s previous centre-left, minority government – the Left Party and the Centre Party.

However, both abstained from voting against Ms Andersson.

Despite it being her first day in charge, she faced the threat of calls for an immediate resignation.

However, the new prime minister said she was prepared to lead the country even if parliament rejected the government’s budget later in the day in favour of an opposition bill.

“I am of the opinion that it (the opposition budget) as a whole is something I can live with,” Ms Andersson told reporters at a news conference.

AP

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