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Swedish parliament elects Social Democrat leader as new PM for second time


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Current Finance Minister and Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson attends a press conference after being appointed as the country’s new Prime Minister following a voting at the Swedish Parliament Riksdagen in Stockholm, Sweden November 24, 2021. Andersson is the first ever Swedish female prime minister. Erik Simander /TT News Agency/via REUTERS

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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -Swedish parliament for the second time in less than a week elected Social Democrat Magdalena Andersson as new prime minister on Monday, leaving the country’s first female premier to navigate a fragmented and fraught political landscape.

The former finance minister won a similar vote last week but threw in the towel only hours later after a junior coalition partner abandoned the government over a lost budget vote.

Andersson will now form a minority government consisting only of her own party.

The Social Democrats hold 100 seats in the 349-seat parliament and will have to rely on support from several other parties to implement policy. Not since 1979 has a government commanded so little direct support in parliament.

Complicating the picture, Andersson will have to govern on a budget in part formulated by three opposition parties, including the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, whose gains over the past decade lie at heart of Sweden’s political turmoil.

Her tenuous hold on power is due to a deadlocked parliament where neither the centre-left nor centre-right can form a majority on their own.

An election due in September next year may not bring any further clarity as polls show little change in the overall political balance.

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