In Sweden, the executive power is vested in the Government (i.e. The country's "Cabinet" which consists of the Prime Minister and other Ministers), as opposed to the Prime Minister.

This means that the Prime Minister (at least in theory) can only take political action if a majority of the Government members approve the decision. If the Government does not approve a decision, the Prime Minister is expected to not act on it.

However, there doesn't seem to be any ramification if the Prime Minister chooses to lead the Government with an iron fist.

If a majority of the Government members oppose a decision, the Prime Minister can very well overrule everyone by threatening to dismissed them. This of course would happen entirely behind closed doors as Government meeting records are kept secret from public.

In the absence of obvious ramifications to incentivize the desired behavior, why would the Swedish Prime Minister act in accordance with the Government's collective will?

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    I'm not well versed on Sweden's system, but the Wikipedia page doesn't say anything about a majority of the Government needing to approve of anything. Do you have a better source I can reference for that? Wikipedia does list mention that the Riksdag can take a vote of no confidence in the PM/government and force a replacement, so that's probably the relevant protection.
    – Bobson
    Commented Feb 22, 2021 at 6:00
  • @Bobson: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… Commented Feb 22, 2021 at 9:42
  • As far as I can tell, the Regeringsformen (Ch. 7) doesn't actually mandate decisions by majority in the Government. First, armed forces decisions are explicitly excluded from the quorum requirement. Second, even though there's a quorum (of 5) required for the rest, it's not stated they need to take a vote. The decision needs to be signed by the PM, so it seems the PM basically has a veto. Commented Feb 22, 2021 at 9:53

1 Answer 1


Konstitutionsutskottet (the Committee on the Constitution) and the parliament have the right to remove a sitting Minister for reasons of “no confidence". If a Swedish Prime Minister continues to act against Government's collective will, he will not be able to enjoy the confidence and is likely to be removed. Prime Minister Torbjörn Fälldin was saved from removal by one vote in 1980. Discharge of the Prime Minister or a minister Chapter 6 Article 7 Instrument of Government

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