Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden
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|Deputy to the Prime Minister of Sweden
Lesser coat of arms of Sweden
|Appointer||The Prime Minister|
|Term length||No fixed term,
Serves at the pleasure of the Prime Minister
|Inaugural holder||Gunnar Sträng|
|Formation||January 1, 1975|
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The Swedish constitution allows the Prime Minister to appoint one of the Ministers in the cabinet as Deputy Prime Minister (statsministers ställföreträdare, sometimes unofficially known as vice statsminister), in case the Prime Minister for some reason is prevented from performing his or her duties. However, if a Deputy Prime Minister has not been appointed, the Minister in the cabinet who has served the longest time (and if there are several with equal experience the one who is oldest) takes over as head of government (these are marked in italic in the table below).
A Deputy Prime Minister can only serve as Prime Minister in a temporary function, as the resignation of a Prime Minister automatically includes the entire cabinet, and the Instrument of Government of Sweden requires the Speaker of the Riksdag to dismiss the cabinet in the case of the death of the Prime Minister.
Historically, under the 1809 Instrument of Government the Minister for Foreign Affairs (the "second excellency" and to date the only formal "minister" save for the Prime Minister, the other cabinet members' formal title being Councillor of State for... etc) was to act as acting Prime Minister should he be able not to perform his duties. With the enactment of the 1974 Instrument of Government and the inauguration of Thorbjörn Fälldin's three-party cabinet in 1976, Per Ahlmark was formally sworn in as the first to hold the office. In 1986 Deputy Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson became acting Prime Minister for the transitional cabinet from March 1 to March 12, upon the assassination of Olof Palme. Carlsson was subsequently tasked with forming a new cabinet, approved by the Riksdag on March 12, effectively reappointing most cabinet members in their previous offices.
The role and position of a Deputy Prime Minister may vary. In the four last coalition governments, Fälldin III, Bildt and Reinfeldt I and II, the Deputy Prime Minister was the head of the second-largest coalition partner (Liberals in Fälldin III, Bildt and Reinfeldt II, Centre in Reinfeldt I). In the governments Fälldin I and II, however, the Deputy Prime Ministership belonged to the Liberal Party despite the fact that it was the smallest of the three members. The reason for this might be ascribed to an unwillingness on behalf of the Centre and Liberals to give this position to the Moderates, due to ideological differences. In all of these governments, however, the Deputy Prime Minister also had a regular Cabinet portfolio.
The situation is different in the one-party governments that have existed since the position of Deputy Prime Minister was introduced in 1976, namely the Liberal Ullsten government and the Social Democratic governments Palme II, Carlsson I-III and Persson. While Mona Sahlin might well have been described as something of a "successor-in-waiting" (even if she ultimately did not succeed Ingvar Carlsson to the Prime Ministership), the other Deputy Prime Ministers have tended to be older and experienced politicians who have often been in charge of coordinating the work of the Government and may also have been in charge of some policy areas of their own which were not substantial enough to warrant a full-time Cabinet position, such as Bo Ringholm, who was Minister of Sport concurrently with being Deputy Prime Minister.
List of officeholders
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