Sweden’s Deputy Prime Minister to quit government and politics

Sweden's Deputy Prime Minister to quit government and politics
Isabella Lövin. Photo: Magnus Andersson/TT
Sweden's Deputy Prime Minister and Environment Minister Isabella Lövin announced on Wednesday she is quitting the government and her role as co-leader of the Green Party.

“I intend to stay on and work at full speed until a new, female spokesperson is in place. After that I will leave politics. I think it is the best thing for me and for the party,” Lövin told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Lövin joined Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's Social Democrat-Green coalition government in 2014 and replaced Åsa Romson as spokesperson of the Green Party in 2016, a role she currently shares with Financial Markets and Housing Minister Per Bolund.

The Green Party traditionally has two leaders, a man and a woman, and the party will now start the process of finding Lövin's replacement with the hope of electing a new leader early next year.

Lövin said her term as spokesperson would run out during the government's term of office after the next election in 2022, and she said she had to decide now whether to quit and give her replacement plenty of time to make their mark on the party and Swedish politics before the election, or stick it out for another few years.

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Then former journalist and member of the European Parliament (2009-2014) wrote in an article in the Aftonbladet tabloid on Wednesday that she had then decided to leave the world of top-level politics and “have more time left for writing and for my family”.

Lövin has not drawn as much criticism as her predecessor as leader of the Green Party, but the party has been struggling in the polls lately, with only 4.1 percent telling a major survey this spring that they would vote for the Green Party if an election were held today, meaning it would barely be above the threshold for parliament.

The Green Party for the first time joined government in 2014, and has pushed through several green reforms such as a new climate law. But it has also clashed with the much larger Social Democrats on issues such as migration, with talks about a new migration policy breaking down after the party threatened to quit government.

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