Sweden’s parliament confirms Magdalena Andersson as first female PM

Sweden’s parliament confirmed Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson as the country’s first female prime minister.

The 54-year-old, who took over as leader of the governing Social Democrat party earlier this month, was elected as outgoing leader Stefan Lofven’s successor during a confirmation vote in parliament on Wednesday.

A total of 117 members of parliament voted for her, while 174 voted against her. Fifty-seven abstained.

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.

Andersson, who currently serves as Sweden’s finance minister, will formally take over as prime minister following a meeting with King Carl XVI Gustaf on Friday.

Despite being a nation that has long championed gender equality, Sweden has never had a woman as prime minister.

Andersson’s appointment came after she clinched a last-minute deal with the Left Party on Tuesday, securing key support in exchange for a pledge to raise pensions.

“We have reached an agreement to strengthen the finances of the poorest pensioners,” Andersson told public broadcaster SVT after the agreement was announced.

Left Party leader Nooshi Dadgostar also confirmed the deal. “We’re not going to block Andersson,” she told Swedish Radio.

Andersson had already received the support of the Greens, the Social Democrats’ coalition partner in government.

Stefan Lofven resigned on November 10 after seven years as prime minister in a widely expected move aimed at giving his successor time to prepare for the country’s September 2022 general election.