Wednesday (November 24th): Andersson’s 7 Hours as Swedish Prime Minister

Andersson - Sweden
Magdalena Andersson

Name? Magdalena Andersson

Westphalian identity? Swedish

Age? 54

Why is she in the news? Stefan Lofven resigned last week in line with a long-planned move to make Magdalena Andersson the first female prime minister in Sweden’s history. Exactly 100 years after Sweden allowed for women to vote, the parliament elected Andersson this morning. 

Why do we care? Because she resigned just 7 hours after she was elected! This unexpected action comes after one of her coalition partners voting for her this morning stopped backing her over this afternoon’s budget approval. Because it was not Andersson’s budget that parliament approved but a proposal by the opposition. Especially hurtful, the main opposition party behind this is a right-populist movement with neo-nazi roots, a big NO for Andersson’s social democrats.

Why should you care? This is just hilarious and too comical not to care. 8/10 for making us laugh. Also, Sweden, let’s have a word. How can it be that you are championing gender equality but this is your first female PM in your history? 

Who else cares? Soon to be new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. As he presented his coalition government to succeed Merkel today Olaf Scholz was closely watching Andersson. Scandinavian social democrats were seen as role models for other European social democrats for the revival of social democratic parties in Europe. Scholz knows too well that Germany’s future is determined by Europe’s future and that a revival of social democracy helps him to implement his vision. Well, Andersson’s loss today is a hiccup, to say the least! 

Any further comments? A question that remains is how can a situation like this happen in the first place? The answer is Sweden’s unique parliamentary system. Under Sweden’s system, a prime ministerial candidate does not need the support of a majority in parliament, they just need to not have a majority against them. (117 in favour,  174  against, 57 abstained) Just another IR lesson learned.

Joshua Dario Hasenstab

General Coordinator