Magdalena Andersson’s rise to power has been nothing short of a political soap opera, and the season finale may still be yet to come.
In just one week, the Swedish Parliament elected her as the country’s first woman to become prime minister , saw her resign seven hours later amid political turmoil, and instructed her to return to office after a second vote.
Why it all unfolded and what could happen next has highlighted the complexities posed by an eight-party coalition in a divided nation.
Why did Sweden need a new head of government?
It all started with the retirement of Stefan Lofven , who had led a Social Democratic-Green coalition government since 2014. The first vote to choose his successor was last Wednesday.
Magdalena Andersson had already replaced him as leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party at her conference in early November.
But to replace her at the head of the government she needed the approval of Parliament .
With the green light from it, she became the first female Prime Minister of Sweden, a historic event that happened exactly 100 years after women won the right to vote in the country.
What happened in that first vote?
Under Sweden’s political system, Andersson did not need the favorable vote of the majority of MPs, but rather to prevent the majority from voting against.
However, in such a fragmented Parliament , it was seen that it would be a difficult decision.
The governing coalition led by the Social Democrats is weak and depends on the support of other formations.
The vote took place after 11 hours of negotiation with the Left Party and previous talks with the Center Party , a center-right party. Both agreed to abstain and Sweden thus became the last Nordic country to elect a woman as prime minister.
But that did not commit Parliament to supporting her in a crucial budget vote later that afternoon. Instead, the Center Party helped pass an alternative proposal from three right-wing parties , including Sweden’s Democrats, a formation with a strong anti-immigrant discourse.
Faced with this, the Green Party resigned from the coalition government , arguing that it did not want to participate in a budget negotiated by the nationalists.
At the same time, Andersson asked to resign as prime minister, claiming that she did not want to lead a government “whose legitimacy will be questioned.”
“Who runs Sweden?”
The key question on the lips of many Swedes came from a foreign correspondent who works for the Finnish public broadcaster YLE.
“Excuse me … who is leading Sweden right now?” Lucas Dahlstrom uttered, prompting laughter from other journalists and a clip that went viral.
Andersson explained that she had not technically started his work, so the answer was an interim government led by Stefan Lofven.
Is this kind of chaos unusual?
Yes. So much so that commentators dubbed it “Super Wednesday.”
Andersson’s resignation concluded the “most dramatic” day in Swedish political history.
Sweden has a long history of parliamentary and political stability cooperative coalition s , with the Social Democrats dominating for most of the last century.
“Minority governments are very common in Scandinavian countries,” explains Drude Dahlerup, Professor of Political Science at Stockholm University. “But the atmosphere in the P Swedish ARLIAMENT at this time is very hostile and no party is really willing to give up “.
The drama stopped any celebration of the fact that Sweden had finally caught up with its Nordic neighbors in choosing its first female leader.
“It was supposed to be a very good day for Sweden,” adds Professor Dahlerup. “But it was chaotic and unpredictable.”
How did you get the job back ?
By Monday, the Speaker of Parliament had given deputies another chance to approve or reject Magdalena Andersson as head of a one-party government.
As none of them had changed position and none of the opposition parties had sufficient support to propose an alternative government, she was re-elected.
So now his Swedish Social Democratic Party will rule for only the first time in 15 years.
Andersson has promised to boost social spending and limit the privatization of schools, healthcare and nursing homes, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat crime and segregation in Sweden.
What do we know about her?
He is 54 years old and has a broad career in politics. She is known for speaking up and being a tough negotiator . She was Finance Minister during the Stefan Lofven government since 2014.
Before becoming an MP, she was a junior swimming champion, worked as a political advisor and held a high-level position at the Swedish Tax Agency.
She studied at Harvard University and the Stockholm School of Economics , where she met her husband, Richard Friberg, who now works as a professor there. They have two children and enjoy hiking and barbecuing together.
And what will happen now?
Andersson will still be forced to follow the budget negotiated by three right-wing opposition parties, including Sweden’s Democratic nationalists.
As the head of a one-party minority government, which numbers 100 out of 349 MPs, she will also find it difficult to push forward any future policies .
He has just over nine months to prove himself, as elections are scheduled for September 2022 .
Polls suggest that voters have more confidence in her than in any other member of her line-up. But that good image so far has not brought additional support to the Swedish Social Democratic Party.
Another key variable is what happens to the nationalists.
So far, other rightist opposition parties have refused to form a coalition with the D emócratas in Sweden , even though that would break the current political deadlock.
But two of them, the conservative Moderate Party and D emócratas Cr istianos appear to be increasingly open to negotiate with them .
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.