Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden

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Deputy to the Prime Minister of Sweden
Statsministerns ställföreträdare
Lilla riksvapnet - Riksarkivet Sverige.png
Lesser coat of arms of Sweden
Incumbent
Isabella Lövin

since 21 January 2019
AppointerThe Prime Minister
Term lengthNo fixed term,
Serves at the pleasure of the Prime Minister
Inaugural holderGunnar Sträng
FormationJanuary 1, 1975
WebsiteGovernment of Sweden
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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Sweden
Foreign relations

The Swedish constitution allows the Prime Minister to appoint one of the Ministers in the cabinet as deputy prime minister (Swedish: statsministers ställföreträdare, sometimes unofficially known as vice statsminister), in case the Prime Minister for some reason is prevented from performing his or her duties. 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 requires the Speaker of the Riksdag to dismiss the cabinet in the case of the death of the Prime Minister.

History[edit]

Origins of the office[edit]

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 function as acting Prime Minister should the Prime Minister not 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 of Deputy Prime Minister.

Palme assassination[edit]

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, the only time the death of the Prime Minister has caused the Deputy Prime Minister to temporarily assume the office. Carlsson subsequently received the task of forming a new cabinet from the Speaker of the Riksdag. The cabinet was approved by the Riksdag on March 12, 1986, effectively reappointing most cabinet members in their previous offices.

Role in coalition governments[edit]

The role and position of a Deputy Prime Minister may vary. In the five last coalition cabinets, Fälldin III, Bildt and Reinfeldt I and II, and Löfven, 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, Green in Löfven). 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.

In July 2015, the office of the Deputy Prime Minister was the subject of some political debate. Following a brief illness of the social democratic Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, the Prime Minister's office revealed that the Deputy Prime Minister Åsa Romson of the Green Party, although named Vice statsminister ("Vice Prime Minister") when the cabinet took office in October 2014, was in fact not expected to temporarily assume the duties of the Prime Minister as Statsministerns ställföreträdare ("Deputy of the Prime Minister") as stated in the Instrument of Government, instead yielding to the most senior minister of the cabinet. Effectively this makes social democratic Foreign Minister Margot Wallström the actual deputy of the Prime Minister, due to seniority rather than appointment. It also rendered the title of Vice statsminister an honorary title, for the most senior member of the party functioning as junior partner in the governing coalition, rather than an actual function.[1]

Role in one-party governments[edit]

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 Premiership), 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[edit]

Color key

 Independent    Social Democratic    Moderate    Centre    Left    Liberals    Christian Democrats    Green    Sweden Democrats  

Deputy Prime Minister Position Took office Left office Duration Party Prime Minister
1
Per Ahlmark
Per Ahlmark
(1939–2018)
Minister for EmploymentOctober 8, 1976March 7, 1978515Liberal People'sThorbjörn Fälldin (C)
2
Ola Ullsten
Ola Ullsten
(1931–2018)
Minister for Employment,
Minister for International
Development Cooperation
March 7, 1978October 18, 1978225Liberal People'sThorbjörn Fälldin (C)
Sven Romanus
Sven Romanus
(1906–2005)
Acting
Minister for JusticeOctober 18, 1978October 12, 1979359IndependentOla Ullsten (FP)
Ingemar Mundebo
Ingemar Mundebo
(1930–2018)
Acting
Minister for JusticeOctober 12, 1979August 1, 1980294Liberal People'sThorbjörn Fälldin (C)
(2)
Ola Ullsten
Ola Ullsten
(1931–2018)
Minister for Foreign AffairsAugust 1, 1980October 8, 1982798Liberal People'sThorbjörn Fälldin (C)
3
Ingvar Carlsson
Ingvar Carlsson
(born 1934)
Minister for the EnvironmentOctober 8, 1982February 28, 19861239Social DemocraticOlof Palme (S)
Svante Lundkvist
Svante Lundkvist
(1919–1991)
Acting
Minister for AgricultureFebruary 28, 1986October 9, 1986223Social DemocraticIngvar Carlsson (S)
Kjell-Olof Feldt
Kjell-Olof Feldt
(born 1931)
Acting
Minister for FinanceOctober 9, 1986February 16, 19901226Social DemocraticIngvar Carlsson (S)
Lena Hjelm-Wallén
Lena Hjelm-Wallén
(born 1943)
Acting
Minister for International
Development Cooperation
February 16, 1990February 27, 199011Social DemocraticIngvar Carlsson (S)
4
Odd Engström
Odd Engström
(1941–1998)
February 27, 1990October 4, 1991584Social DemocraticIngvar Carlsson (S)
5
Bengt Westerberg
Bengt Westerberg
(born 1943)
Minister for Health and Social AffairsOctober 4, 1991October 7, 19941099Liberal People'sCarl Bildt (M)
6
Mona Sahlin
Mona Sahlin
(born 1957)
Minister for Gender EqualityOctober 7, 1994November 16, 1995405Social DemocraticIngvar Carlsson (S)
7
Lena Hjelm-Wallén
Lena Hjelm-Wallén
(born 1943)
Minister for Foreign Affairs
(1994–1998)
November 16, 1995October 21, 20022531Social DemocraticIngvar Carlsson (S)
(1995 – 1996)
Göran Persson (S)
(1996 – 2002)
8
Margareta Winberg
Margareta Winberg
(born 1943)
Minister for Gender EqualityOctober 21, 2002October 31, 2003375Social DemocraticGöran Persson (S)
Marita Ulvskog
Marita Ulvskog
(born 1951)
Acting
Minister for Culture and SportsOctober 31, 2003June 1, 2004214Social DemocraticGöran Persson (S)
9
Lars Engqvist
Lars Engqvist
(born 1945)
Minister for Health and Social AffairsJune 1, 2004October 1, 2004122Social DemocraticGöran Persson (S)
Laila Freivalds
Laila Freivalds
(born 1942)
Acting
Minister for Foreign AffairsOctober 1, 2004November 1, 200431Social DemocraticGöran Persson (S)
10
Bo Ringholm
Bo Ringholm
(born 1942)
Minister for European Union AffairsNovember 1, 2004October 6, 2006704Social DemocraticGöran Persson (S)
11
Maud Olofsson
Maud Olofsson
(born 1955)
Minister for Enterprise and EnergyOctober 6, 2006October 5, 20101460CentreFredrik Reinfeldt (M)
12
Jan Björklund
Jan Björklund
(born 1962)
Minister for EducationOctober 5, 2010October 3, 20141459Liberal People'sFredrik Reinfeldt (M)
13
Margot Wallström
Margot Wallström
(born 1954)
Acting
Minister for Foreign AffairsOctober 3, 2014Incumbent1784Social DemocraticStefan Löfven (S)
Åsa Romson (Honorary title)
Åsa Romson (Honorary title)
(born 1972)
Minister for the EnvironmentOctober 3, 2014May 25, 2016600GreenStefan Löfven (S)
Isabella Lövin (Honorary title)
Isabella Lövin (Honorary title)
(born 1963)
Minister for International Development CooperationMay 25, 20161184GreenStefan Löfven (S)

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Green leader wouldn't replace PM in crisis". The Local. 18 July 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015.

External links[edit]