Sweden’s first female prime minister resigns hours after being appointed

Sweden’s prime minister-elect has resigned seven hours after being appointed the country’s first female political leader.

Yesterday morning, MPs burst into applause and Magdalena Andersson, a 54-year-old former finance minister, wiped away a tear as she was voted through yesterday morning, following a last-minute, late-night deal with the former-Communist Left Party.

She described herself as "raring to go" at a short press conference after the vote.

But less than eight hours later she tendered her resignation after her Green Party coalition partners decided to leave the government after it failed to pass its budget.

"For me this is about respect," she said at a press conference announcing her decision. "I do not want to lead a government for which there are reasons to question the legitimacy."

Ms Andersson’s candidacy will now be put to the parliament once again, but this time as head of a historically weak one-party government.

Her resignation followed a domino chain of events that could have come straight from the Danish political drama Borgen.

First, the Centre Party withdrew its support for the budget, complaining that the deal with the former Communists had pushed the government too far to the left. The budget fell, and then the Green Party resigned, as it would otherwise have had to rule on a fuel-tax cutting opposition budget co-presented by the far-Right Sweden Democrats.

Ms Andersson as a minister was seen as a pragmatic centrist, and has been pushing her party to the left since succeeding former leader Stefan Löfven at the start of this month.

She has pledged to roll back the role of the private sector in providing health, education and welfare.

But even if, as is likely, she manages to win a second parliamentary vote, she faces a close election next year that could see her pushed out of power.

On Wednesday, 175 MPs either voted for her, abstained, or were absent, outnumbering the votes against the new leader by a single mandate.

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