By Dominic Chopping

 

STOCKHOLM--Sweden's first female prime minister resigned Wednesday evening, just hours after her appointment, as her coalition government collapsed.

Magdalena Andersson was named prime minister after a parliamentary vote Wednesday, but she saw her budget bill fail to pass in a vote later in the day. This meant that the budget proposed by opposition parties was approved instead, an opposition that includes the populist Sweden Democrats.

In response, Ms. Andersson's key coalition partner, the Green Party, quit the government.

"The government has voted for a budget that has been negotiated by a right-wing extremist party," Green Party spokesman Per Bolund said at press conference after the vote.

"The Green Party's task in politics is not to implement a budget negotiated by Sweden Democrats," he added.

Despite the upheaval, Ms. Andersson said she still wants to serve as prime minister and the Green Party said that it will support her in any future vote.

"According to practice, a coalition government should resign if a party chooses to leave the government," Ms. Andersson said after resigning.

"I also do not want to lead a government where there may be grounds to question its legitimacy," she said.

The parliamentary speaker will now begin talks with the leaders of all parties represented in parliament to discuss the next move.

Ms. Andersson had been serving as the country's finance minister and recently became leader of the Social Democratic Party, taking over from Stefan Lofven, who resigned earlier this month.

Under Swedish rules, Ms. Andersson needed to avoid a majority of parliamentary members voting against her to succeed in becoming prime minister, and she managed with the narrowest of margins after a last-minute agreement with the Left Party ensured their support in the vote. Of the 349 members of parliament, 174 voted against her. If 175 had voted against Ms. Andersson, she would have lost the vote.

Mr. Lofven, who had led the Social Democrats party since 2012 and became prime minister in 2014 to lead a centre-left coalition, said over the summer that he would step down as both party leader and prime minister to give his successor enough time to campaign ahead of next year's general election.

 

Write to Dominic Chopping at dominic.chopping@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 25, 2021 02:18 ET (07:18 GMT)

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