Riksdag

The Riksdag (Swedish: riksdagen or Sveriges riksdag) is the national legislature and the supreme decision-making body of Sweden. Since 1971, the Riksdag has been a unicameral legislature with 349 members (Swedish: riksdagsledamöter), elected proportionally and serving, from 1994 onwards, on fixed four-year terms.

The constitutional functions of the Riksdag are enumerated in the Instrument of Government (Swedish: Regeringsformen), and its internal workings are specified in greater detail in the Riksdag Act (Swedish: Riksdagsordningen).[1][2]

The seat of the Riksdag is at Parliament House (Swedish: Riksdagshuset), on the island of Helgeandsholmen in the central parts of Stockholm. The Riksdag has its institutional roots in the feudal Riksdag of the Estates, by tradition thought to have first assembled in Arboga in 1435, and in 1866 following reforms of the 1809 Instrument of Government that body was transformed into a bicameral legislature with an upper chamber (Swedish: Första Kammaren) and a lower chamber (Swedish: Andra Kammaren).

The most recent general election was held on 9 September 2018.

Riddarholmen 2006c
The Old Parliament House on Riddarholmen was the seat of the Riksdag from 1833 to 1905.
Kulturhuset 2009
Kulturhuset at Sergels torg served as a temporary seat for the Riksdag, from 1971 to 1983, while the Riksdag building on Helgeandsholmen underwent renovation.
Riksdag of Sweden

Sveriges riksdag
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
Leadership
Andreas Norlén, (M)
since 24 September 2018
Åsa Lindestam, (S)
since 24 September 2018
Lotta Johnsson Fornarve, (V)
since 24 September 2018
Kerstin Lundgren, (C)
since 24 September 2018
Beatrice Ask, (M)
since 24 September 2018
Structure
Seats349
Current Structure of the Riksdag
Political groups
Government (116)

Confidence and supply (78)

Opposition (155)

Elections
Party-list proportional representation
Sainte-Laguë method
See Elections in Sweden
Last election
9 September 2018
Next election
On or before September 2022
Meeting place
Parliament House, Stockholm
Parliament House
Helgeandsholmen
Stockholm, 100 12
Kingdom of Sweden
Website
www.riksdagen.se

Name

The Swedish word riksdag, in definite form riksdagen, is a general term for "parliament" or "assembly", but it is typically only used for Sweden's legislature and certain related institutions.[3][4][5] In addition to Sweden's parliament, it is also used for the Parliament of Finland and the Estonian Riigikogu, as well as the historical German Reichstag and the Danish Rigsdagen.[5] In Swedish use, riksdagen is usually uncapitalized.[6] Riksdag derives from the genitive of rike, referring to royal power, and dag, meaning diet or conference; the German word Reichstag and the Danish Rigsdag are cognate.[7] The Oxford English Dictionary traces English use of the term "Riksdag" in reference to the Swedish assembly back to 1855.[7]

History

Swedish Riksdag seat distribution 1902-2018
Historical distribution of seats in the Swedish Riksdag 1902-2018.

The roots of the modern Riksdag can be found in a 1435 meeting of the Swedish nobility in the city of Arboga. This informal organization was modified in 1527 by the first modern Swedish king Gustav I Vasa to include representatives from all the four social estates: the nobility, the clergy, the burghers (property-owning commoners in the towns such as merchants etc.), and the yeomanry (freehold farmers). This form of Ständestaat representation lasted until 1865, when representation by estate was abolished and the modern bicameral parliament established. Effectively, however, it did not become a parliament in the modern sense until parliamentary principles were established in the political system in Sweden, in 1917.

On 22 June 1866, the Riksdag decided to reconstitute itself as a bicameral legislature, consisting of Första kammaren or the First Chamber, with 155 members and Andra kammaren or the Second Chamber with 233 members. The First Chamber was indirectly elected by county and city councillors, while the Second Chamber was directly elected by universal suffrage. This reform was a result of great malcontent with the old Estates, which, following the changes brought by the beginnings of the industrial revolution, was no longer able to provide representation for large segments of the population.

By an amendment to the 1809 Instrument of Government, the general election of 1970 was the first to a unicameral assembly with 350 seats. The following general election to the unicameral Riksdag in 1973 only gave the Government the support of 175 members, while the opposition could mobilize an equal force of 175 members. In a number of cases a tied vote ensued, and the final decision had to be determined by lot. To avoid any reccurrence of this unstable situation, the number of seats in the Riksdag was reduced to 349, from 1976 onwards.

Powers and structure

The Riksdag performs the normal functions of a legislature in a parliamentary democracy. It enacts laws, amends the constitution and appoints a government. In most parliamentary democracies, the head of state commissions a politician to form a government. Under the new Instrument of Government[8] (one of the four fundamental laws of the Constitution) enacted in 1974, that task was removed from the Monarch of Sweden and given to the Speaker of the Riksdag. To make changes to the Constitution under the new Instrument of Government, amendments must be approved twice, in two successive electoral periods with a regular general election held in between.

There are 15 parliamentary committees in the Riksdag.[9]

Membership

As of February 2013, 44.7 percent of the members of the Riksdag are women. This is the world's fourth highest proportion of females in a national legislature—behind only the Parliaments of Rwanda, Andorra, and Cuba – hence the second-highest in the developed world and among parliamentary democracies.[10] Following the 2014 elections, in which the share of Liberal female members of parliament (MPs) plunged (from 42% to 26%, mainly due to a reduction to a single seat in most constituencies) and the Sweden Democrats more than doubled their seats (though increasing the number of female MPs from three to eight), the figure dropped to 43,5%. Only the Left Party has a majority of female MPs; 12 of 21 as of 2014.[11]

Members of the Riksdag are full-time legislators with a salary of 66 900 SEK (around $7 400) per month.[12]

According to a survey investigation by the sociologist Jenny Hansson, Members of the Riksdag have an average work week of 66 hours, including side responsibilities. Hansson's investigation further reports that the average member sleeps 6.5 hours per night.[13]

Riksdagen.andra kammaren b7dn273 2826
The former second chamber, nowadays used for committee meetings.
Riksdagshuset 2
The Riksdag building exterior, from the west, at night.

Presidium

The presidium consists of a speaker and three deputy speakers. They are elected for a 4-year term.

Government

After holding talks with leaders of the various party groups in the Riksdag, the speaker of the Riksdag nominates a Prime Minister (Swedish: Statsminister literally minister of state). The nomination is then put to a vote. The nomination is rejected (meaning the Speaker must find a new nominee) only if an absolute majority of the members (175 members) vote "no"; otherwise, it is confirmed. This means the Riksdag can consent to a Prime Minister without casting any "yes" votes.

After being elected the Prime Minister appoints the cabinet ministers and announces them to the Riksdag. The new Government takes office at a special council held at the Royal Palace before the Monarch, at which the Speaker of the Riksdag formally announces to the Monarch that the Riksdag has elected a new Prime Minister and that the Prime Minister has chosen his cabinet ministers.

The Riksdag can cast a vote of no confidence against any single cabinet minister (Swedish: Statsråd), thus forcing a resignation. To succeed a vote of no confidence must be supported by an absolute majority (175 members) or it has failed.

If a vote of no confidence is cast against the Prime Minister this means the entire government is rejected. A losing government has one week to call for a general election or else the procedure of nominating a new Prime Minister starts anew.

Parties

Political parties are strong in Sweden, with members of the Riksdag usually supporting their parties in parliamentary votes. In most cases, governments can command the support of the majority in the Riksdag, allowing the government to control the parliamentary agenda.

No single party has won a majority in the Riksdag since 1968. Political parties with similar agendas consequently cooperate on several issues, forming coalition governments or other formalized alliances. Two major blocs existed in parliament until 2019, the socialist/green Red-Greens and the conservative/liberal Alliance for Sweden. The latter—consisting of the Moderate Party, Liberal, Centre Party, and Christian Democrats—governed Sweden from 2006 through most of 2014 (after 2010 through a minority government). The Red-Greens combination disbanded on 26 October 2010 but continued to be considered the main opposition until the 2014 election, following which the Social Democrats and the Green Party formed a government with support from the Left Party.[14] In 2019, after the 2018 election in which neither bloc won a majority of seats, the Social Democrats and Green Party formed a government with support from the Liberals and Centre Party, breaking the center-right Alliance. In March 2019, the Christian Democrats and Moderate Party signaled a willingness to talk with the Sweden Democrats.[15]

Current party representation in the Riksdag[16]
Parties[b] Leaders Seats[c] Seat Share
  Social Democratic Party Stefan Löfven 100 28.65%
  Moderate Party Ulf Kristersson 70 20.06%
  Sweden Democrats Jimmie Åkesson 62 17.77%
  Centre Party Annie Lööf 31 8.88%
  Left Party Jonas Sjöstedt 28 8.02%
  Christian Democratic Party Ebba Busch Thor 22 6.3%
  Liberals Jan Björklund 20 5.73%
  Green Party Isabella Lövin and Gustav Fridolin 16 4.58%
Total 349 100%

Elections

Kanslihuset östra fasaden 2
The offices of the parliament are housed in several buildings, including the former Royal mint on Mynttorget square.

All 349 members of the Riksdag are elected in the general elections held every four years. All Swedish citizens who turn 18 years old no later than on the day of the election are eligible to vote in and stand for elections. A minimum of 4% of the national vote is required for a party to enter the Riksdag, alternatively 12% or more within a constituency. Substitutes for each deputy are elected at the same time as each election, so by-elections are rare. In the event of a snap election, the newly elected members merely serve the remainder of the four-year term.

Constituencies and national apportionment of seats

The electoral system in Sweden is proportional. Of the 349 seats in the unicameral Riksdag, 310 are fixed constituency seats allocated to 29 multi-member constituencies in relation to the number of people entitled to vote in each constituency. The remaining 39 adjustment seats are used to correct the deviations from proportional national distribution that may arise when allocating the fixed constituency seats. There is a constraint in the system that means that only a party that has received at least four per cent of the votes in the whole country participates in the distribution of seats. However, a party that has received at least twelve per cent of the votes in a constituency participates in the distribution of the fixed constituency seats in that constituency.[17]

2018 election results

Sveriges riksdag 2018 enwp
Party Votes % Seats +/−
Social Democratic Party S 1,830,386 28.26 100 −13
Moderate Party M 1,284,698 19.84 70 −14
Sweden Democrats SD 1,135,627 17.53 62 +13
Centre Party C 557,500 8.61 31 +9
Left Party V 518,454 8.00 28 +7
Christian Democrats KD 409,478 6.32 22 +6
Liberals L 355,546 5.49 20 +1
Green Party MP 285,899 4.41 16 −9
Feminist Initiative FI 29,665 0.46 0 ±0
Alternative for Sweden AfS 20,290 0.31 0 New
Citizens' Coalition MED 13,056 0.20 0 New
Pirate Party PP 7,326 0.11 0 ±0
The Direct Democrats DD 5,153 0.08 0 ±0
Independent Rural Party LPo 4,962 0.08 0 New
Unity ENH 4,647 0.07 0 ±0
Animal Party DjuP 3,648 0.06 0 ±0
Christian Values Party KrVP 3,202 0.05 0 ±0
Nordic Resistance Movement NMR 2,106 0.03 0 New
Classical Liberal Party KLP 1,504 0.01 0 ±0
Communist Party of Sweden SKP 702 0.01 0 ±0
Basic Income Party 632 0.01 0 New
Initiative 615 0.01 0 New
Security Party TRP 511 0.01 0 New
Scania Party SKÅ 296 0.00 0 ±0
Norrland partiet 60 0.00 0 New
Libertarian Freedom Party FRP 53 0.00 0 New
European Workers Party EAP 52 0.00 0 ±0
NY Reform 32 0.00 0 New
Common Sense in Sweden CSIS 21 0.00 0 New
Our Country – Sweden 9 0.00 0 New
Reformist Neutral Party RNP 4 0.00 0 ±0
People's Home Sweden 2 0.00 0 New
Yellow Party Gup 1 0.00 0 ±0
Parties not on the ballot 588 0.01 0
Invalid/blank votes 58,546
Total 6,535,271 100 349 0
Registered voters/turnout 7,495,936 87.18
Source: VAL
Riksdag Alliances 2018
Alliance Votes % Seats +/−
Red-Greens (S+MP+V)[18] 2,634,739 40.68 144 −15
The Alliance (M+C+L+KD) 2,607,222 40.26 143 +2
Sweden Democrats (SD) 1,135,627 17.53 62 +13
Invalid/blank votes 58,546
Total 6,535,271 100 349 0
Registered voters/turnout 7,495,936 87.18
Source: VAL

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Sitting in opposition, has agreed to a supplementary agreement, meaning they will not topple Löfven unless the policies go too far to the right
  2. ^ Party name and leaders current as of 11 June 2018
  3. ^ Seat numbers current as of 11 June 2018

References

  1. ^ Instrument of Government, as of 2012. Retrieved on 2012-11-16. Archived October 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ The Riksdag Act, as of 2012. Retrieved on 2012-11-16. Archived February 1, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Nöjd, Ruben; Tornberg, Astrid; Angström, Margareta (1978). "Riksdag (riksdagen)". Mckay's Modern English-Swedish and Swedish-English Dictionary. David Mckay. p. 147. ISBN 0-679-10079-2.
  4. ^ Gullberg, Ingvar (1977). "Riksdag". Svensk-Engelsk Fackordbok. PA Norstedt & Söners Förlag. p. 741. ISBN 91-1-775052-0.
  5. ^ a b "Riksdag". Nationalencyklopedin. 2014. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
  6. ^ Holmes, Philip; Hinchliffe, Ian (2013). Swedish: A Comprehensive Grammar. Routledge. p. 670. ISBN 1134119984. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Riksdag, n.". Oxford English Dictionary. June 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
  8. ^ The Swedish Constitution, Riksdagen Archived January 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "The 15 parliamentary committees". Sveriges Riksdag / The Swedish Parliament. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved May 29, 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Carp, Robert Holender, Ossi (21 September 2014). "Antalet kvinnor i riksdagen fortsätter minska - DN.SE".
  12. ^ Riksdagsförvaltningen. "Frågor & svar samt statistik över ledamöternas arvoden". www.riksdagen.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2018-11-04.
  13. ^ "Hansson, Jenny (2008). De Folkvaldas Livsvillkor. Umea: Umea University" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-03.
  14. ^ Regeringskansliet, Regeringen och (2017-08-26). ""Vi accepterar inte att Sveriges framtid, jobben och klimatet sätts på spel"". Regeringskansliet (in Swedish). Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  15. ^ Radio, Sveriges. "Christian Democrats willing to talk to all parties, including Sweden Democrats - Radio Sweden". sverigesradio.se. Retrieved 2019-03-22.
  16. ^ Riksdagsförvaltningen. "Ledamöter & partier". www.riksdagen.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  17. ^ See e.g.: SOU 2008:125 En reformerad grundlag (Constitutional Reform), Prime Ministers Office.
  18. ^ with F! 41.14 %
Bibliography
  • Larsson, Torbjörn; Bäck, Henry (2008). Governing and Governance in Sweden. Lund: Studentlitteratur AB. ISBN 978-91-44-03682-3.
  • Petersson, Olof (2010). Den offentliga makten (in Swedish). Stockholm: SNS Förlag. ISBN 978-91-86203-66-5.

External links

Coordinates: 59°19′39″N 18°04′03″E / 59.32750°N 18.06750°E

2002 Swedish general election

General elections were held in Sweden on 15 September 2002, alongside municipal and county council elections. The Swedish Social Democratic Party remained the largest party in the Riksdag, winning 144 of the 349 seats.

2006 Swedish general election

General elections were held in Sweden on 17 September 2006, to elect members to the Riksdag, the Swedish national legislature. All 349 seats were up for election: 310 fixed seats in 29 constituencies and 39 adjustment seats, used to ensure that parties have representation in the Riksdag proportional to their share of the national vote. The electoral system used was semi-open list proportional representation using the Sainte-Laguë method of allocating seats. Elections for County and Municipal councils were also held on the same day.

Fredrik Reinfeldt from the Moderate Party was able to form a majority government together with the Centre Party, Liberal People's Party and the Christian Democrats following the election. The Social Democrats were ousted after twelve years in power. It was the country's first majority government since the second Fälldin cabinet fell in 1981.

Andreas Norlén

Per Olof Andreas Norlén (Swedish pronunciation: [andr²eːas nʊˈɭeːn]; born 6 May 1973) is a Swedish Moderate Party politician who has served as Speaker of the Riksdag since September 2018. He has been a Member of the Riksdag (MP) for Östergötland County since October 2006. Norlén has previously been a member of the Committee on the Constitution, 2014–2018 as chair of the committee.

Norlén was elected the Speaker of the Riksdag on 24 September 2018, following the first sitting of the Riksdag since the elections. After the centre-left Löfven Cabinet lost a vote of no confidence, Norlén began the task of nominating candidates for Löfven's successor as Prime Minister, according to the Swedish Instrument of Government. The lengthy work of finding a prime minister that could be tolerated by the Riksdag was concluded on 18 January 2019 when Stefan Löfven was appointed for a second term.

Axel von Fersen the Elder

Count Fredrik Axel von Fersen (5 April 1719 – 24 April 1794) was a Swedish statesman and soldier. He served as Lord Marshal of the Riksdag of the Estates, and although he worked closely with King Gustav III before and through the Revolution of 1772, he later opposed the king.

Basic Laws of Sweden

The Basic Laws of Sweden (Swedish: Sveriges grundlagar) are the four fundamental laws of the Kingdom of Sweden that regulate the Swedish political system, acting in a similar manner to the constitutions of most countries. These are the Instrument of Government (Swedish: Regeringsformen), the Freedom of the Press Act (Swedish: Tryckfrihetsförordningen), the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression (Swedish: Yttrandefrihetsgrundlagen) and the Act of Succession (Swedish: Successionsordningen). Together, they constitute a basic framework that stands above other laws and regulation, and also define which agreements are themselves above normal Swedish law, but subordinate to the fundamental laws, namely the European Convention on Human Rights and several UN and EU treaties and conventions.

The Parliament Act (Swedish: Riksdagsordningen) in usually considered to be halfway between a fundamental law and a normal law, with certain main chapters afforded similar protections as the fundamental laws while other additional chapters require only a simple parliamentary majority.To amend or to revise a fundamental law, the Riksdag needs to approve the changes twice in two successive terms with qualified majorities, with a general election having been held in between. The first vote can be replaced with a referendum.

Beatrice Ask

Eva Carin Beatrice Ask (born 20 April 1956) is a Swedish politician and a member of the Moderate Party. She has been a member of the Swedish Riksdag for Stockholm Municipality since 1988. She served as Minister for Schools from 1991 to 1994, and as Minister for Justice from 2006 to 2014.

Elections in Sweden

Elections to determine the makeup of the legislative bodies on the three levels of administrative division in the Kingdom of Sweden are held once every four years. At the highest level, these elections determine the allocation of seats in the Riksdag, the national legislative body of Sweden. Elections to the 20 county councils (landsting) and 290 municipal assemblies (kommunfullmäktige) – all using roughly the same electoral system – are held concurrently with the legislative elections on the second Sunday in September (with effect from 2014; until 2010 they had been held on the third Sunday in September).

Sweden also holds elections to the European Parliament, which unlike Swedish domestic elections are held in June every five years, although they are also held on a Sunday and use an almost identical electoral system. The last Swedish general election was held on 9 September 2018. The last Swedish election to the European Parliament was held on 25 May 2014.

Första kammaren

The Första kammaren (lit. First Chamber, often abbreviated 'FK') was the upper house of the bicameral Riksdag of Sweden between 1866 and 1970 that replaced the Riksdag of the Estates. During the bicameral period, the lower house of the Riksdag was the Andra kammaren. Both chambers had generally similar and parallel powers.

At the time of its abolition the First Chamber had 151 members, who were elected for eight-year terms of office, from amongst the county councils (landsting) and city councils (stadsfullmäktige); members of the county and city councils were themselves elected directly by the vote of the general public.

During a large portion of the long tenure of power for the social-democratic (between 1932 and 1976), the party remained in control of legislation thanks to its strong position in the First Chamber. If the two chambers made contradictory decisions in budgetary matters, they were required to meet in joint assembly to make a "coherent" decision on the issue. In other matters, no legislative outcomes could be established if the two houses were in disagreement, but issues could re-addressed by submitting a new proposal. Co-ordination between the two chambers was facilitated by the Riksdag's having standing joint committees composed of members from both chambers. This is rare for two-chamber systems, which generally only employ temporary joint mediation committees to resolve a dispute between the chambers, or reserve standing joint committees for very narrow functions.

Government of Sweden

The Government of the Kingdom of Sweden (Swedish: Konungariket Sveriges regering) is the national cabinet and the supreme executive authority of Sweden. The short-form name Regeringen ("the Government") is used both in the Fundamental Laws of the Realm and in the vernacular, while the long-form is only used in international treaties.The Government operates as a collegial body with collective responsibility and consists of the Prime Minister—appointed and dismissed by the Speaker of the Riksdag (following an actual vote in the Riksdag before an appointment can be made)—and other cabinet ministers (Swedish: Statsråd), appointed and dismissed at the sole discretion of the Prime Minister. The Government is responsible for its actions to the Riksdag.Following the adoption of the 1974 Instrument of Government on 1 January 1975—the Government in its present constitutional form was constituted—and in consequence thereof the Swedish Monarch is no longer vested any nominal executive powers at all with respect to the governance of the Realm, but continues to serve as a strictly ceremonial head of state.

Hans Wallmark

Hans Wallmark (born 1965), is a Swedish politician of the Moderate Party. He has been a member of the Riksdag since 2006. He served as President of the Nordic Council in 2014.

Helena Bouveng

Kerstin Helena Bouveng (born 9 August 1962) is a Swedish politician of the Moderate Party. She has been Member of the Riksdag since the 2006 general election, representing her home constituency Jönköping County.In the Riksdag, Bouveng is currently a deputy member of The Swedish Delegation to the Nordic Council, a deputy member of The Riksdag Appeals Board, a deputy member of the Nominations Committee, a deputy member of the Committee on Cultural Affairs and a regular member of the Committee on Taxation.

Bouveng is the daughter of Nils Bouveng, founder of Sapa Group.

Jessica Polfjärd

Jessica Susanne Zindalai Polfjärd (born 27 May 1971) is a Swedish politician of the Moderate Party. She was the group leader of the Moderate Party in the Riksdag from January 2015 to October 2017, when she was appointed spokesperson for employment. She has been a member of the Riksdag since 2006 and served as chairman of the Employment Committee of the Riksdag from 2013 to 2014.

Polfjärd was born in South Korea and came to Sweden by the age of 9 months, through adoption, in 1972.

List of Deputy Speakers of the Riksdag

The speaker of the Riksdag is assisted by three deputy speakers who are also elected by a vote in 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 leader of the largest party bloc should hold the Speakership. Unlike the Speaker (and cabinet ministers), the deputy speakers are not replaced by an alternate and remain members of the Riksdag with voting rights.

List of members of the Riksdag, 2006–10

This is a list of Members of the Riksdag, the national parliament of Sweden. The Riksdag is a unicameral assembly with 349 Members of Parliament (Swedish: riksdagsledamöter), who are elected on a proportional basis to serve fixed terms of four years. In the Riksdag, Members are seated per constituency and not party. The following MPs were elected in the Swedish general election, 2006 and will serve until the Swedish general election, 2010. Members of the center-right Cabinet of Fredrik Reinfeldt, the ruling coalition during this term, are marked in bold, party leaders of the seven parties represented in the Riksdag in italic.

Parliament of Finland

The Parliament of Finland (Finnish: Suomen eduskunta, Swedish: Finlands riksdag) is the unicameral supreme legislature of Finland, founded on 9 May 1906. In accordance with the Constitution of Finland, sovereignty belongs to the people, and that power is vested in the Parliament. The Parliament consists of 200 members, 199 of whom are elected every four years from 13 multi-member districts electing 7-36 using the proportional d'Hondt method. In addition, there is one member from Åland.

Legislation may be initiated by either the Government or one of the members of Parliament. The Parliament passes legislation, decides on the state budget, approves international treaties, and supervises the activities of the government. It may bring about the resignation of the Finnish Government, override presidential vetoes, and alter the constitution. To make changes to the constitution, amendments must be approved by two successive parliaments, with an election cycle in between, or passed as an emergency law with a 166/200 majority. Most MPs work in parliamentary groups which correspond with the political parties. As of June 2018, the Parliament comprises ten parliamentary groups and one independent MP. Since the establishment of the Parliament in 1905, the parliamentary majority has been held once by a single party – the Social Democrats in the 1916 election. Thus, for the Government to gain a majority in the Parliament, coalition governments are favored. These are generally formed by at least two of the three historically major parties: the Social Democrats, Centre, and National Coalition. Ministers are often but not necessarily MPs. The Parliament meets in the Parliament House (Finnish: Eduskuntatalo, Swedish: Riksdagshuset), which is located in central Helsinki.

The most recent parliamentary election took place on April 19, 2015. The Centre Party, the Finns Party, and the National Coalition Party cooperated to form the Sipilä Cabinet, a centre-right coalition government. Following the split of the Finns Party in June 2017, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (kesk.) terminated the government's co-operation with the Finns Party and proposed a new coalition consisting of three groups: the intact Centre and National Coalition parties, as well as Blue Reform, a new party consisting solely of former members of the Finns Party.

Parliamentary committees in the Riksdag

There are 15 parliamentary committees in the Riksdag, Sweden's parliament. Each committee is made up of seventeen elected MPs, with at least one member from each political party.

Prime Minister of Sweden

The Prime Minister (Swedish: statsminister, literally "Minister of the State") is the head of government in Sweden. Before the creation of the office of a Prime Minister in 1876, Sweden did not have a head of government separate from its head of state, namely the King, in whom the executive authority was vested. Louis Gerhard De Geer, the architect behind the new bicameral Riksdag of 1866 that replaced the centuries-old Riksdag of the Estates, became the first officeholder in 1876.

The current Prime Minister of Sweden is Stefan Löfven, leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party who was chosen for a second term on 18 January 2019, even after having been ousted following the general elections on 9 September 2018.

Riksdag of the Estates

Riksdag of the Estates (formally Swedish: Riksens ständer; informally Swedish: Ståndsriksdagen) was the name used for the Estates of Sweden when they were assembled. Until its dissolution in 1866, the institution was the highest authority in Sweden next to the King. It was a Diet made up of the Four Estates, which historically were the lines of division in Swedish society:

Nobility

Clergy

Burghers

Peasants

Speaker of the Riksdag

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 350 members, reduced to 349 in 1976 to avoid parliamentary deadlocks. 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 Andreas Norlén, who has held the gavel since September 2018.

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