Sweden’s finance minister poised to become first female prime minister

Sweden’s Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson is on her way to being the country’s first female prime minister after she was elected on Thursday to be the leader of the country’s ruling Social Democratic Party.

However, before becoming premier, the 54-year-old, who has served as finance minister since 2014, must overcome an uncertain vote in the country’s fractured parliament, according to Bloomberg.

The country’s next election is scheduled in 10 months, and the Sweden Democrats, the country’s right-wing group, could move closer to obtaining power amid a spike in gang-related shootings and bombings, Bloomberg noted. 

If approved in parliament, Andersson would replace current Prime Minister Stefan Lofven who is stepping down after almost a decade leading his party. 

Bloomberg reported that Andersson’s goals include improving education, health care and elderly care “under democratic control.” She added that she would like to see Sweden take initiative in leading resolutions to address climate issues as well as to segregation and violence.

However, Andersson could face challenges given intra-party conflicts about spending surrounding climate initiatives and the country’s welfare system.

Some within her party have called for a separate budget to allow for increased spending to address the issues. Andersson has objected to that notion, and the leader, who refers to herself as Europe’s most frugal finance minister, has advocated in favor of changing accounting methods as opposed to allocating additional resources, Bloomberg added. 

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