Sweden’s Finance Chief Nominated to Become First Female PM
(Bloomberg) -- Sweden’s Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson has agreed to replace outgoing Prime Minister Stefan Lofven as social-democratic party leader, paving the way for her to become the Nordic nation’s first-ever female head of government.
“I am very honored,” the Harvard-educated Andersson, who has held the reins of the Swedish economy since 2014, said in Stockholm on Wednesday. “Accepting the nomination as leader of the Social Democrats is a big decision. It is not something you do overnight.”
Andersson’s announcement removes any doubts about her nomination and election at the party congress in November. Her chances to be appointed premier are high but given the political paralysis and multitude of parties there could be surprises.
While she has been widely pegged as Lofven’s heir since the 64-year old prime minister announced last month that he’ll resign, Andersson has until now dodged questions about whether she would accept an offer to chair the party. After taking the party helm, she will need to win acceptance in a parliamentary vote to assume the premiership.
The Swedish economy has been among the most resilient to the pandemic thanks to its prudent public finances. Even so, Swedish society has struggled to deal with strains on its cradle-to-grave welfare system and a surge in gang-related shootings and bombings.
The Social Democrats, who have dominated Swedish politics after World War II, face the prospect of a defeat from the conservative-nationalist opposition in national elections next year, and if Andersson gets confirmed by parliament as Lofven’s heir at the helm of the minority government, her first hurdle would be finding sufficient backing from lawmakers for her 2022 budget.
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