Speaker of the Riksdag

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Speaker of the Riksdag
Riksdagens talman
Coat of arms of the Swedish Parliament.svg
The three crowns, as used by the Riksdag
Flag of Sweden.svg
Urban Ahlin 2015.jpg
Urban Ahlin

since September 29, 2014
The Riksdag
Style Mister Speaker
Swedish: Herr talman
Residence no official residence
Nominator The Prime Minister
Appointer The Alderman (longest serving member),
following a vote in the Riksdag
Term length Four years (de facto)
a vote is always held after a general election
Inaugural holder Henry Allard
Formation 1627
Deputy First deputy speaker
Second deputy speaker
Third deputy speaker
Website www.riksdagen.se

The speaker of the Riksdag (Swedish: Riksdagens talman) is the presiding officer of the national unicameral legislature in Sweden.

The Riksdag underwent profound changes in 1867, when the medieval Riksdag of the Estates was abolished. The new form of the Riksdag included two elected chambers, each with its own speaker. Since the de facto introduction of parliamentarism in 1917, the Riksdag has properly functioned as the institution to which the Prime Minister and the Government are held accountable. In 1971 the institution was transformed into a unicameral legislature with 349 members. Since 1975, in accordance with the Instrument of Government of 1974, it is the speaker and no longer the Monarch who appoints and dismisses the Prime Minister.

The current speaker is Urban Ahlin, who has held the gavel since 2014.

Duties of the speaker[edit]

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The speaker is the head and presiding officer of the Riksdag, and is elected by the chamber as the first order of business when the Riksdag re-convenes following a general election. As such the speaker coordinates the work that takes place in the Riksdag. The office is mandated in the Swedish constitution and the duties of the office are set out on the Instrument of Government (1974) and the Riksdag Act.

The speaker does not take part in the debates, nor does the speaker participate in the parliamentary committees. While the Speaker is one of the elected representatives of the Riksdag, the speaker is expected to remain unbiased and objective with regards to the political issues that are debated. The speaker has no vote in the Riksdag, but the incumbent could use their vote as a member of the Riksdag if a tie appears.

The position of speaker is the second highest ranked public position in Sweden. In terms of protocol, the Monarch outranks the speaker since the Monarch is the head of state. However, since that position is hereditary a person cannot be elected to become the monarch. The Speaker outranks the Prime Minister of Sweden.

Appointment and Dismissal of Prime Minister[edit]

One of the more important aspects of the work of the speaker is to head the negotiations concerning the forming of a new government in case there is a shift of power after an election. The speaker proposes the new prime ministerial candidate to the chamber, and following a positive vote, the speaker signs the commission (Swedish: förordnande) on behalf of the Riksdag. The Prime Minister appoints and dismisses their own cabinet ministers, forming the Government (Swedish: Regeringen), without the involvement of the Speaker.

The Prime Minister hands their letter of resignation to the speaker, following either a voluntary resignation or a vote of no confidence.

In most other parliamentary systems, including other constitutional monarchies, these duties are instead handled by the head of state. Relieving the Swedish Monarch from exercise of political powers, although not the key objective from the outset, became nevertheless an important part on the constitutional reform in the 1970s.

Deputy speakers[edit]

The speaker is assisted by three deputy speakers who are also elected by the chamber. Traditionally, the second, third and fourth largest parties gets to name of one of their members for these offices. There is some disagreement whether the largest party or the leading party of the largest party bloc should hold the speakership (and thus also the position of First deputy speaker). Unlike the speaker (and cabinet ministers), the deputy speakers are not replaced by an alternate and remain members of the Riksdag with voting rights.

Regent ad interim[edit]

In case all adult members of the Swedish Royal Family who are in the line of succession to the Throne, as prescribed in the Act of Succession, are out of the country, the Speaker assumes the role of Regent ad interim (Swedish: Riksföreståndare). This would also be the case if they were all to decease.

Riksdag Board[edit]

The Speaker chairs the Riksdag Board (Swedish: Riksdagsstyrelsen), which deliberates on the organisation of the work of the Riksdag, directs the work of the Riksdag Administration (Swedish: Riksdagsförvaltningen) and decides upon matters of major significance concerning the international contacts programme.

War Delegation[edit]

The Speaker chairs the War Delegation (Swedish: Krigsdelegationen), when it is deemed necessary to convene.

List of Speakers[edit]

Speakers of the bicameral Riksdag (1867-1970)[edit]

Speakers of the First Chamber (upper house)[edit]

Speakers of the Second Chamber (lower house)[edit]

Speakers of the unicameral Riksdag (1971-present)[edit]

Portrait Speaker
Term Political Party Election Constituency
Took office Left office Duration
Henry Allard
Allard, HenryHenry Allard
15 January 1971 (1971-01-15) 1 October 1979 (1979-10-01) 8 years, 259 days Social Democratic 1970
Örebro County
Ingemund Bengtsson
Bengtsson, IngemundIngemund Bengtsson
1 October 1979 (1979-10-01) 3 October 1988 (1988-10-03) 9 years, 2 days Social Democratic 1979
Halland County
Thage G. Peterson
Peterson, Thage G.Thage G. Peterson
(born 1933)
3 October 1988 (1988-10-03) 30 September 1991 (1991-09-30) 2 years, 362 days Social Democratic 1988 Stockholm County
Ingegerd Troedsson
Troedsson, IngegerdIngegerd Troedsson
30 September 1991 (1991-09-30) 3 October 1994 (1994-10-03) 3 years, 3 days Moderate 1991 Uppsala County
Birgitta Dahl
Dahl, BirgittaBirgitta Dahl
(born 1937)
3 October 1994 (1994-10-03) 30 September 2002 (2002-09-30) 7 years, 362 days Social Democratic 1994
Uppsala County
Björn von Sydow
Sydow von, BjörnBjörn von Sydow
(born 1945)
30 September 2002 (2002-09-30) 2 October 2006 (2006-10-02) 4 years, 2 days Social Democratic 2002 Stockholm County
Per Westerberg
Westerberg, PerPer Westerberg
(born 1951)
2 October 2006 (2006-10-02) 29 September 2014 (2014-09-29) 7 years, 362 days Moderate 2006
Södermanland County
Urban Ahlin
Ahlin, UrbanUrban Ahlin
(born 1964)
29 September 2014 (2014-09-29) Incumbent 3 years, 40 days Social Democratic 2014 Västra Götaland County

See also[edit]

Historical predecessor


External links[edit]