Sweden’s first female PM resigns over health problems

Image copyright John Thys/Getty Images Image caption Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson launched the “Change Sweden” campaign in 2016

Sweden’s first female prime minister has resigned after only a few hours, citing health problems.

Magdalena Andersson, leader of the Alliance opposition coalition, said on Thursday night that she was stepping down for personal reasons.

She blamed illness on the stress and pressure of her political life.

Ms Andersson said she was not seeking political revenge but would step down in favour of someone new.

She had called off an 18 September general election, blaming her partners in government – the Liberals and the Christian Democrats – for delaying important decisions.

Thursday’s unexpected announcement came after a short conversation between the chancellor and Ms Andersson, according to news agency TT.

Alliance leader and Finance Minister Bjorn Hurtig, who is currently in the US, will take over, reports The Local.

On Friday, Mr Hurtig said he was “devastated and shocked” by Ms Andersson’s resignation and said the liberals, Christians and Social Democrats had to meet and find a new leader.

Magnus Dahle, a Social Democrat, is one of the frontrunners to replace Ms Andersson.

She was sworn in as prime minister in May, replacing Norbert Hofer, who became president in May after being elected as the country’s first openly gay head of state.

‘Insane jobs for women’

Following her resounding election victory, Ms Andersson pledged a national programme of “Change Sweden”, promising to improve healthcare, education and education for girls.

She also promised to fight what she called “insane jobs for women”, such as jobs in agriculture.

Instead, she said she wanted to focus on the economy, although she did not give further details.

She reiterated this in a statement published on Thursday night, saying: “I have the lowest blood pressure, don’t worry. However, I have been diagnosed with chest pains. Please understand.”

The way Ms Andersson ended her time as prime minister has made headlines in Sweden, with one newspaper suggesting it could have been a farewell “message” to voters.

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