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The Swedish parliament approves the first female prime minister




I was really excited by what she said.

The Swedish parliament on Wednesday approved Magdalena Andersson as the country’s first female prime minister, electing the finance minister, who recently became the new leader of the Social Democratic Party.

Ms. Andersson was appointed to replace Stefan Lofven as party leader and prime minister, a role he resigned earlier this year.

The development marked a milestone for Sweden, seen for decades as one of Europe’s most progressive countries when it comes to gender relations, but which still did not have a woman in the top political post. The government of Mr. Lofven describes herself as a feminist, placing equality between women and men at the center of national and international work.

In a speech to parliament, Amineh Kakabaveh, an independent lawmaker who supported Ms Andersson, noted that Sweden is currently celebrating the 100th anniversary of a decision to introduce universal and equal suffrage in the Scandinavian country.

If women are only allowed to vote but are never elected to the top post, democracy is not complete, said Ms. Kakabaveh, who is of Iranian Kurdish descent.

“There is something symbolic in this decision,” she added. Feminism has always meant that girls and women are complete people who have the same opportunities as men and boys.

I was really excited by what she said. She corrected what I thought, Ms. Andersson said after her appointment to parliament, where she received a standing ovation and a bouquet of red roses.

I have been elected the first female Prime Minister of Sweden and I know what it means for girls in our country, said Mrs. Andersson.

In the 349-seat Riksdag, 117 lawmakers voted in favor of Andersson, 174 rejected her appointment, while 57 abstained and one lawmaker was absent.

Under the Swedish Constitution, prime ministers can be appointed and governed as long as the parliamentary majority is not against them with a minimum of 175 lawmakers.

Mr Lofven has led the Swedish government in the quality of care until the formation of a new government, something that is expected on Friday. Andersson is likely to form a bipartisan, minority government with its Social Democrats and the Green Party.

Ms. Andersson, 54, tried to secure the support of the two smaller parties that supported the former center-left Swedes, the minority government led by the Left Party Lofven and the Center Party. Both abstained from voting against Andersson.

After days of talks, Ms. Andersson and the Left Party reached an agreement to win the latter’s support. The deal focused on pensions, meaning an extra up to 1,000 kronor ($ 111) for about 700,000 low-income retirees.

The next general election in Sweden is scheduled for September 11th.




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