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Sweden Parliament approves first female Prime Minister

A country known for its progressive gender relations finally appoints a woman to its top political post.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Sweden’s parliament has approved Magdalena Andersson as the country’s first female prime minister.

Lawmakers on Wednesday tapped the finance minister who recently became the new leader of the Social Democratic party. 

Andersson was picked to replace Stefan Lofven as both party leader and prime minister. Those are roles he relinquished earlier this year. 

The development marked a milestone for Sweden. The country has been viewed for decades as one of Europe’s most progressive countries when it comes to gender relations, but it hadn't yet had a woman in the top political post.

In a speech to parliament, Amineh Kakabaveh, an independent lawmaker who supported Andersson said, “If women are only allowed to vote but are never elected to the highest office, democracy is not complete.” 

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

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

“I have been elected Sweden’s first female prime minister and know what it means for girls in our country,” Andersson said. 

After her appointment in parliament, she got a standing ovation and a bouquet of red roses.

Credit: AP

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