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Sweden re-elects prime minister, calming political turmoil


Swedens Social Democrat leader narrowly won a vote in parliament re-electing her as prime minister, easing the political turmoil in the largest Nordic nation prompted by her resignation last week.

Magdalena Andersson, 54, will form a one-party government after her candidacy passed on Monday by a two-vote margin. Having become Sweden's first female prime minister last Wednesday, she resigned the same day when her junior partner in government quit following a defeat in parliament over the budget.

Sweden's recent instability is a result of an increasingly fragmented legislature. The emergence of the nationalist Sweden Democrats over the last decade has sapped support for mainstream parties and made it difficult to form stable coalitions.

Andersson's government will control less than a third of the seats in parliament, and will depend on the support of three smaller parties.

Her appointment was backed by 101 lawmakers, with 75 abstaining and 173 voting against. That means Andersson won by two votes as she needed to avoid an absolute majority opposing her nomination. The next step is for her to announce her cabinet members, before her government takes office after a meeting of the Council of State presided over by the king.

The Sweden Democrats, who have 62 seats out of 349 in the legislature, will seek a shot at power next year in a September election that's likely to focus on rising gun crime and tension over immigration.

The country's political landscape has long been a two-horse race between a relatively unified center-right and a bloc of left-leaning parties led by the Social Democrats.

Over the past year, traditional right-wing politicians have accepted that they may need to cut a deal to give the anti-immigrant force a say in government. Neither the Social Democrat-led constellation nor the conservative-nationalist camp have a clear lead at this point.

Published : November 30, 2021

By : Bloomberg