SWEDEN’S FIRST FEMALE PM RESIGNS HOURS AFTER APPOINTMENT

Hours after being tapped as Sweden’s prime minister, Magdalena Andersson resigned Wednesday after suffering a budget defeat in parliament and coalition partner the Greens left the two-party minority government.

“For me, it is about respect, but I also do not want to lead a government where there may be grounds to question its legitimacy,” Ms Andersson told a news conference.

Ms Andersson has informed parliamentary Speaker Anderas Norlen that she is still interested in leading a Social Democratic one-party government.

She said that “a coalition government should resign if a party chooses to leave the government. Despite the fact that the parliamentary situation is unchanged, it needs to be tried again”.

The speaker of Sweden’s 349-seat parliament Andreas Norlen said he had received Ms Andersson’s resignation and will contact the party leaders “to discuss the situation”, the Swedish news agency TT said. On Thursday, he will announce the road ahead.

The government’s own budget proposal was rejected in favour of one presented by the opposition that includes the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats. Sweden’s third-largest party is rooted in a neo-Nazi movement.

“Now the government has voted for a budget that has been negotiated by a right-wing extremist party,” Green Party spokesperson Per Bolund said. “That is something we deeply regret.” Earlier in the day, Ms Andersson said she could “govern the country with the opposition’s budget”.

“We have a united party behind us saying we can not sit in government that implements a policy (the Sweden Democrats) negotiated. We must look our voters in the eye and feel pride,” said Marta Stenevi, the Greens’ other spokesperson as the party chose to resign from the government.

The party said it is prepared to stand behind Ms Andersson in a new vote to tap a prime minister. It was unclear what the dramatic development would lead to.

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