Prime Minister of Sweden


Prime Minister of Sweden

The Prime Minister ( _sv. 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 ironically 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.

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. [cite web |url=http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/2856/a/18332 |title=How a Government is formed |accessdate=2008-01-05 |date=2006-08-02 |publisher=Government Offices of Sweden ]

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. [cite web |url=http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/2511 |title=Om Regeringskansliet |accessdate=2008-01-05 |date=2007-10-30 |publisher=Government Offices of Sweden |language=Swedish] 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.

List of officeholders

Statistics

Trivia

Birthdays

* The earliest born prime minister was the third one to enter office, Carl Johan Thyselius, born on June 8 1811. The latest born is the incumbent, Fredrik Reinfeldt, born on August 4 1965.
* Of the prime ministers born in the 19th century, the last one to enter office was Östen Undén (acting) (born on August 25 1886). The last ordinary was Per Albin Hansson (born on October 28 1885). Östen Undén was also the last of the ministers to be born in the 19th century and Per Albin Hansson was the second last.
* Tage Erlander was the first one to be born in the 20th century (born on June 13 1901) and he was also the first of the prime ministers born in the 20th century to enter office. The latest born in the 20th century is Fredrik Reinfeldt, who, being the incumbent, is also the latest one of the 20th century born to enter office.
* The highest number of birthdays have been in January and July (5 each), whereas there has been none in March, May or December.
* The shortest time span between two birthdays was the one between the birth of Fredrik von Otter (April 11 1833) and Gustaf Åkerhielm (July 24 1833) being 104 days. The longest span was between Tage Erlander (June 13 1901) and Thorbjörn Fälldin (April 24 1926) being 24 years, 315 days.
* 25 prime ministers were born in the 19th century, 7 in the 20th and none in the 21st.

Deathdays

* The first prime minister to die (who also happens to be the first one born) was the third one to enter office (Carl Johan Thyselius), who died on January 11 1891. The latest one to die was Olof Palme, who died on March 1 1986.
* Of the prime ministers who died in the 19th century, the last one to enter office was Gustaf Åkerhielm (died on April 2 1900; the 20th century began on January 1 1901). Gustaf Åkerhielm was also the last of the ministers to die in the 19th century.
* The first minister to die in the 20th century was Arvid Posse (died on April 24 1901). The last one to die in the 20th century was Olof Palme (died on March 1 1986).
* The highest number of deathdays have been in February and November (4 each), whereas there has been none in May or July. That makes May the only month when no prime minister has been neither born nor died.
* The shortest time span between two deathdays was the one between the death of Carl Gustaf Ekman (June 15 1945) and Nils Edén (June 16 1945) being 1 day. The longest span was between Östen Undén (January 14 1974) and Tage Erlander (June 21 1985) being 11 years, 158 days. However, since no prime minister has died since March 1 1986 (Age in years and days|1986|3|1 ago), this will be surpassed the next time someone dies.
* The prime minister to die closest to his birthday was Gillis Bildt, who died 6 days after his 74th birthday.
* 5 prime ministers died in the 19th century, 22 in the 20th and none in the 21st (6 still living).

Age and longevity

* The oldest prime minister has been Hjalmar Hammarskjöld, who died at an age of 91 years, 250 days. Of those still living, Thorbjörn Fälldin is the oldest, at an age of Age in years and days|1926|4|24 (as of CURRENTDAY CURRENTMONTHNAME CURRENTYEAR). He is the only still living prime minister who has made it into the "top 5 list" by surpassing Johan Ramstedt on August 31 2008. He would have to live until January 2 2018 to surpass Hjalmar Hammarskjöld and become the oldest Swedish prime minister ever (living until January 1 2018, he would tie with Hammarskjöld).
* The youngest prime minister at his death has been Robert Themptander, who died at an age of 52 years, 351 days. The incumbent Fredrik Reinfeldt is currently Age in years and days|1965|8|4, so if he would die no later than July 20 2018, he would become the youngest prime minister at death ever (dying on July 21 2018, he would tie with Themptander).
* No prime minister has died before the age of 50 (Fredrik Reinfeldt would do so if he would die no later than August 3 2015), 5 before the age of 60, another 8 before the age of 70, another 10 before the age of 80, another 8 before the age of 90, and another 1 before the age of 100. None has achieved an age of 100 years or above.

Time before, in, between and after office

* The oldest prime minister to enter office was Carl Johan Thyselius, who entered office at an age of 72 years, 5 days. The youngest one was his closest successor Robert Themptander, who entered office at 40 years, 92 days.
* The oldest prime minister to leave office was also Carl Johan Thyselius, at 72 years, 342 days. The youngest one to leave office was Rickard Sandler, at 42 years, 129 days.
* The closest two prime ministers have come to entering office on the same day of living was 22 days, which happened to Arvid Posse and acting prime minister Östen Undén (Posse being 60 years, 64 days upon entering office and Undén being 60 years, 42 days). The farthest apart two ministers have been at this coincidence happened to Carl Johan Thyselius and Fredrik von Otter, whose age difference upon entering office was 4 years, 216 days. If this record is to be broken, somebody would have to enter office either at age 35 years, 240 days or younger, or 76 years, 222 days or older.
* The closest two prime ministers have come to leaving office on the same day of living was 5 days, which happened both to Arvid Posse and Christian Lundeberg (Posse being 63 years, 121 days upon leaving office and Undén being 63 years, 116 days) and to Felix Hamrin and Göran Persson (Hamrin being 57 years, 254 days upon leaving office, Persson being 57 years 259 days). The farthest apart two ministers have been at this coincidence happened to Carl Johan Thyselius and Fredrik von Otter, whose age difference upon leaving office was 3 years, 257 days. If this record is to be broken, somebody would have to leave office either at age 38 years, 237 days or younger, or 76 years, 235 days or older.
* The prime ministers to enter office closest to his birthday were Rickard Sandler, who entered 5 days before his 41st birthday, and Carl Johan Thyselius, who entered 5 days after his 72nd birthday.
* The prime minister to leave office closest to his birthday was Gillis Bildt, who resigned 4 days before his 69th birthday.
* The record for longest period in office is held by Tage Erlander at 23 years, 3 days. The shortest period in office is held by Östen Undén, but as he was only acting, the shortest ordinary period was Felix Hamrin's, lasting for 49 days. The incumbent Fredrik Reinfeldt would have to remain prime minister until November 6 2010 to surpass Louis De Geer, Sr. and make it into the "top 10 list", until February 23 2017 to surpass Olof Palme and make it into the "top 5 list" and until October 10 2029 to become the prime minister with the longest time in office ever (if his terms were to be consecutive).
* 22 prime ministers have served 1 term (not counting Östen Undén, who was only acting), 9 have served 2 terms and 1 (Hjalmar Branting) has served 3 terms. 22 prime ministers have had one cabinet, 5 have had two cabinets, 4 have hade three cabinets and 1 (Per Albin Hansson) has had four cabinets.
* The longest time span between two terms of the same minister was between Arvid Lindman's, at 16 years, 361 days between the end of his first term (October 7 1911) and the beginning of his second term (October 2 1928). The shortest time span between two terms of the same minister was 101 days, which was the time of Axel Pehrsson-Bramstorp's term between the end of Per Albin Hansson's first (June 19 1936) and the beginning of his second (September 28 1936).
* Two of the prime ministers (Per Albin Hansson and Olof Palme) have died in office and Palme is the only one who has been assassinated. Thus, those two have not had any life after office (not counting their interim periods between their respective terms). When it comes to those who have, Hjalmar Branting had the shortest time, dying only 31 days after his resignation (he resigned because of health issues and died from Myocarditis and Gallstone). The prime minister living the longest time after resignation was Rickard Sandler, who died 38 years, 159 days after his resignation. This record will be surpassed by Ola Ullsten if he is still alive on March 1 2018 (Ullsten would then be almost 87 years old).
* The smallest number of former and present prime ministers living at the same time is 1, which has happened twice. The first time was from March 20 1876 to April 19 1880 (4 years, 30 days), when Louis De Geer, Sr. was prime minister. During that time, he was the present and since he was the first one, there was no former prime minister. The second time was from November 12 1964 (when Rickard Sandler died) to October 14 1969 (when Olof Palme became prime minister) (4 years, 336 days). During that time, Tage Erlander was the present prime minister and all the former ones had died. Thus, the time span when there has been only one prime minister alive at the same time has been 9 years, 1 day.
* The largest number of former and present prime minister living at the same time is 11, which has happened once. This period lasted from September 24 1932 (the ascension of Per Albin Hansson) to February 25 1935 (the death of Louis De Geer, Jr.) (2 years, 154 days). During that time, Per Albin Hansson was the present and former still living prime ministers were Johan Ramstedt, Arvid Lindman, Hjalmar Hammarskjöld, Nils Edén, Louis De Geer, Jr., Oscar von Sydow, Ernst Trygger, Rickard Sandler, Carl Gustaf Ekman, and Felix Hamrin. The current number of living present and former prime ministers (as of CURRENTDAY CURRENTMONTHNAME CURRENTYEAR) is 6 (Thorbjörn Fälldin, Ola Ullsten, Ingvar Carlsson, Carl Bildt, Göran Persson, and Fredrik Reinfeldt).

Family and relations

* Two prime ministers have had later relatives, who have also become prime ministers. Louis De Geer, Sr. had a son by the same name and Gillis Bildt's great great grandson is Carl Bildt.
* Hjalmar Hammarskjöld was the father of Secretary-General of the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld.
* The prime ministers who have been married the most times are Carl Bildt and Göran Persson (both with 3 marriages). One (Ola Ullsten) has been married twice and two (Karl Staaff and Oscar von Sydow) were never married. The rest were all married once. However, Per Albin Hansson was married properly once, but lived together with a woman (with whom he had two children) without being married to her, for most of his adult life.
* Karl Staaff and Oscar von Sydow, who were never married, and Östen Undén, who was married once, were the only ones who had no children. The least number of children that any prime minister has had while still having some, is 1 (Carl Johan Thyselius and Johan Ramstedt), whereas the most number of children that any prime minister has had is 7, which 3 prime ministers (Erik Gustaf Boström, Fredrik von Otter and Felix Hamrin) had. Östen Undén was the only prime minister to be married without having any children. Per Albin Hansson is the only prime minister to have had children outside marriage (two outside and two inside).

Notes

See also

* Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden
* Swedish governmental line of succession
* Elections in Sweden
* Living Prime Ministers of Sweden
* List of cabinets of Sweden
* List of Swedish politicians

External links

* [http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/2058 Prime Minister's Office] , official website


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