Sweden has a woman prime minister for the first time. The 54-year-old SPD leader Anderson received enough support in Parliament today.
In recent days, Anderson has reached an agreement with the Left Party on an increase in pensions. On the other hand, the party abstained from voting yesterday. In Sweden, a prime minister can be appointed as long as the majority does not oppose him. Anderson chairs the Minority Coalition. She had 174 votes against it – with 175 or more votes against it she wouldn’t have done it.
Andersen’s appointment is a milestone for Sweden, which has fought for gender equality for decades but has never had a female prime minister. In neighboring Norway, this happened already forty years ago.
Amina Kakapavi, Independent Member of Parliament, reminded Parliament yesterday that it will be 100 years since the introduction of universal suffrage. “If women are allowed to vote but not elected to the highest office, democracy will not be complete,” said Kakapavi, who is of Iranian Kurdish descent. “There is symbolism in today’s decision.”
Andersen has been Finance Minister for the past seven years under her predecessor Stefan Lofven, who rose to the position of Prime Minister as a welder. Her career was less a social democracy. She began her career as a political advisor to Prime Minister Goran Persson. This was followed by a career at the political and official summit, where she stood out in every role for her competence and knowledge of the file.
Skillful and direct
In the profile of the Swedish public channel SVT, the politician was recently described as a “bulldozer”, who can waltz over people with her knowledge and directness.
Its real test will come with the September 2022 elections. The Social Democrats have seen their followings shrink steadily in recent years and the outcome in 2018 was the worst ever. In the wings, the moderate centre-right Union Party and the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats are waiting to take power.
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