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Prime Minister of Sweden
Sveriges statsminister
Coat of Arms of Sweden Lesser.svg
Incumbent
Fredrik Reinfeldt

since 6 October 2006
Residence Sager House
Appointer The Riksdag,
the Swedish Parliament
Term length Four years, unlimited renewable
Inaugural holder Louis Gerhard De Geer
Formation 20 March 1876
Website www.sweden.gov.se
Kingdom of Sweden

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Sweden



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The Prime Minister (Swedish: statsminister, literally "Minister of the State") is the head of government in Sweden. Before 1876, when the office of Prime Minister was instituted, Sweden did not have a formal head of government. The architect behind the new parliament of 1866, Louis De Geer became the first Prime Minister, but it had been the absence of his informal leadership in the government that had brought about the reform. The current Prime Minister of Sweden is Fredrik Reinfeldt, leader of the Moderate Party.

Contents

History

Before 1876, when the office of Prime Minister was instituted, Sweden did not have a formal head of government. Historically, the most senior member of the Royal Privy Council (during the absolute rule this was the Lord High Chancellor) had some similarities to the modern office of a head of government. This was most evident during the so called Age of Liberty from 1718 to 1772, when powers of the monarch were greatly reduced and the President of the Privy Council became the most powerful political figure in Sweden.

At the adoption of the new constitution of 1809, the two offices of Prime Minister for Justice (justitiestatsminister) and Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs (utrikesstatsminister) were created. However, their roles were merely that of a head of respective ministry. When the office proper of Prime Minister was created in 1876, the Prime Minister for Justice was demoted to Minister for Justice (justitieminister), while the Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs was demoted to Minister for Foreign Affairs (utrikesminister). Unlike the Minister for Justice, the Minister for Foreign Affairs did continue to be styled as "Excellency", an honour shared only with the Prime Minister.

Until 1973 the government authority had been exercised through the Privy Council when constitutional reform provided a new Instrument of Government which formally established the parliamentary system and created a cabinet government.

The office

Whenever a Prime Minister resigns, dies, or is forced from office by the Riksdag, the Speaker of the Riksdag asks him (or his deputy) to keep the government as a caretaker government until a successor has been elected. The speaker then holds consultations with the party leaders and appoints a Prime Minister-designate, who is submitted for approval to the Riksdag. If the Prime Minister-designate is approved he or she chooses which and how many members (ministers) are to be included in his or her government.[1]

With the exception of the Prime Minister, ministers of the government do not need the approval of the Riksdag but can be forced to resign by a vote of no confidence. If the Prime Minister is forced by a vote of no confidence to resign the entire cabinet falls and the process of electing a Prime minister starts over. The Prime Minister can dissolve the parliament even after receiving a vote of no confidence except the first three months after an election.

The Swedish constitution requires that the Prime Minister appoints one of the ministers in the cabinet as Deputy Prime Minister, in case the Prime Minister for some reason is prevented from performing his or her duties. However, if a Deputy Prime Minister is absent or hasn't 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 acting head of government (see Swedish governmental line of succession for the present governmental line of succession).

Official residences

The government offices, including the Prime Minister's office, is located at Rosenbad in central Stockholm, straight across the water from Helgeandsholmen with the parliament building.

In 1991 the Sager House (or the "Sager Palace" as it was previously called) was acquired, and since 1995 it has served as the private residence of the Prime Minister. The Sager House is located adjacent to Rosenbad and the parliament building.

Harpsund, a manor house in Flen Municipality, Södermanland County, has served as a country residence for the Prime Minister since 1953. The manor is also frequently used for governmental conferences and informal summits between the government, industry and organizations in Sweden.

Salary

The salaries of the cabinet ministers, including the Prime Minister, is decided by and is the subject of annual review by the Statsrådsarvodesnämnden ("Cabinet Ministers' Salary Conmittee") of the Swedish parliament. Since 1 July 2007, the Prime Minister's monthly salary is SEK126,000 (~US$20,000) or SEK1,512,000 (~US$236,000) per year.[2] This is comparable to the £127,334 (~US$250,000) annual salary of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom or the US$400,000 annual salary of the President of the United States.

Notes

See also

External links

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