Andersson’s Bid for Sweden PM At Risk After Left Rejects Deal
Magdalena Andersson’s push to become Sweden’s first female prime minister hangs in the balance after she failed to reach a deal with a key government partner.
The finance minister was unable to agree with the former communist Left Party, which wants to secure influence over a minority government that depends on its support, before a Monday deadline. That means she could face a majority of lawmakers voting against her bid for the premiership.
The ruling constellation led by Andersson’s Social Democrats only controls about a third of the seats in the increasingly fragmented legislature, reflecting a seismic shift in the largest Nordic nation’s political landscape that’s been triggered by the emergence of the far-right Sweden Democrats in the last decade. The once dominant Social Democrats depend on support from the Left as well as a free-market, center-right party.
The parliament’s speaker, Andreas Norlen, said the vote in Riksdag will go ahead on Wednesday, at 9:00 a.m. local time, and Andersson vowed to make a last-ditch effort to avoid losing the vote.
While the Left wants Andersson to lead Sweden’s next government, the party is also determined to win concessions in exchange for accepting her candidacy. Talks are now centering around a demand to increase pensions, and Andersson said the government shares that aim.
“I am convinced that if there is a will, we can strengthen the economic situation for the retirees who are worst off, in a way that doesn’t prohibit a new government from taking office,” Andersson said at a joint news conference with the speaker.
At a subsequent press briefing, the Left Party’s leader Nooshi Dadgostar reiterated the position that they will vote to block Andersson unless there’s a deal that entails “significant and noticeable” improvements for 700,000 pensioners.
54-year old Andersson has served for seven years as finance minister under Stefan Lofven, and was elected party leader earlier this month after the former union boss unexpectedly announced his retirement in August. She has outlined the fight against violent crime, climate transition as well as a a larger government role in education and healthcare services as her main priorities.
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