First female Swedish prime minister resigns amid funding scandal

The short-lived reign of the first female Swedish prime minister in the country’s history has ended amid questions about allegations that she misused her political funds.

Swedish President Johanna Sigurdardottir confirmed reports that Magdalena Andersson, 49, tendered her resignation Friday morning.

“There are strong indications that Magdalena was able to use money the Swedish government owes to her [which] is the worst political behavior ever,” Sigurdardottir said. “She is at fault, this is not the action of a good woman.”

Sigurdardottir praised the Labour Party leader for her contribution to the political process, saying she was “a dedicated and good parliamentary leader.”

The president refused to comment further on the allegations.

It was unclear whether her resignation would lead to any legal repercussions. She could return to her job as prime minister if parliament votes her back in.

“I respect the duty of neutrality,” Sigurdardottir said. “I’m even more convinced after this that the transition is wrong.”

A contentious couple of hours: PM resigns & the Cabinet agrees to remain in place until it is decided who will be replaced. But P.M. may still come back if vote held tonight.1.2.8 A+G3 #Swe – PM appointee yet to step aside for vote — Arnaldur Indridason (@IndridasonArnaldur) June 15, 2018

The news comes just days after opposition leaders criticized what they said was political interference in the slow-moving investigation.

Sigurdardottir said she would start discussion to decide if she will call a vote.

The crown and the currency both dropped as rumors swirled over a potential election.

“The future of the country is at stake. Everything could change,” she said.

In her resignation letter, Anderson wrote, “I believe the trust that has been lost has come because I allowed questions to be raised which make it unsafe for me to continue.”

She told reporters at Parliament: “I care deeply about what this means for the citizens and I hope it is resolved as soon as possible.”

Anderson was named prime minister on Wednesday following a days-long debate that was marred by claims of political interference by the powerful Sweden Democrats, the country’s largest nationalist party. Andersson, a former party leader, stepped down the following day after her party won 62 of the 349 seats in parliament.

Following her resignation, dozens of party members rallied to deny accusations of political interference, but they voiced concerns over the possible consequences of Anderson’s resignation.

Nordic politics are polarizing. The two-party nationalist Alliance coalition is liberal, but focuses on immigration and stands alongside the United Kingdom in rejecting President Trump’s asylum policy, which has led to children being separated from their families at the border.

The center-left is more socialist, but focuses on protecting union power, while Anderson is open to negotiation with the opposition center-right Moderates Party.

Before becoming prime minister, Anderson told The Associated Press that she “has never and will never have any trouble dealing with parties that are of one point of view, but not all.”

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

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