Sweden’s new prime minister resigns after less than a week in office

Sweden’s first female prime minister and leader of the Social Democrats, Magdalena Andersson, resigned after less than a week in office after falling in opinion polls and facing political criticism for allowing a right-wing politician to serve in her cabinet.

“I hope that in the years ahead it will once again be possible to form a government. But it will take time,” she told reporters. She is widely believed to have misjudged the alliance she reached with the far-right Swedish Democrats party in a coalition that will see her divided with the country’s two mainstream parties.

Under Andersson’s leadership, Social Democrats saw their support slump more than 10 points from a year ago, with the economy stagnating and Sweden’s credit rating downgraded for the first time.

Other parties have called for a snap election to avoid heading into one without a government. But a poll published on Tuesday by LH2, another Swedish broadcaster, said that the Social Democrats could struggle to hold their majority in parliament, which could mean that the far-right could become the next government.

Although polls for her party still show that it remains the country’s most popular in terms of support, Andersson’s weak start to her premiership has raised doubts over her ability to hold the majority she needs to be able to rule.

Her decision to bring into her government Anders Ygeman, a member of Sweden’s far-right Democrats party, had left many across the political spectrum asking if she could govern Sweden in the interests of the country’s general election in 2020.

“We have just ended up in a situation where it would be really good if the general election is held immediately instead of further down the road,” Danish Conservative leader, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, told members of the Riksdag, the lower house of parliament, on Tuesday.

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