In November, Sweden's prime minister, Magdalena Andersson resigned just hours after being elected. Was her reign the shortest of any nationally-elected executive? Have any leaders, in any other country, served shorter terms?

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    She was not (personally) elected as a "nationally-elected executive" as you describe it, except in an informal sense. The question would need some clarification before it can be answered. Right now it's just based on a misunderstood example, so it's unclear what is it actually asking. The title Q "Shortest term as prime minister?" could have different answers if non-Westminster systems are included i.e. appointed PMs in other kinds of regimes but again it's not exactly clear if that's what you want since you said "nationally elected". Commented Dec 3, 2021 at 7:23
  • I'm guessing you might mean "parliament-elected executive" or something like that. (Aside: Pedro Lascuráin was president of Mexico for less than an hour (in 1913).) Commented Dec 3, 2021 at 7:32
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    In the UK no one becomes Prime Minister until they have been called to the Palace and "invited" to "form a ministry". And I could not remotely see the present monarch, or perhaps any, doing two or more on the same day.
    – WS2
    Commented Dec 3, 2021 at 9:02

2 Answers 2


This is a misunderstanding of the Swedish system. Magdalena Andersson did not actually serve as prime minister after the first election. There was no formal transfer of power from Stefan Löfven to her (skifteskonselj) before she "resigned", so she has only formally been prime minister since the transfer of power taking place on the 30th of November, after the second time she was elected by the parliament.

The "seven hour term" should more properly be interpreted as a period of seven hours during which she was nominated by the parliament to take over, but elected to decline after one of her allies elected to not remain in a coalition with her.

  • The linked article opens with "Sweden's first female Prime Minister, Magdalena Andersson, has resigned from office only hours after being voted in, Sweden's official Twitter account announced Wednesday." Does that refer to the electorate, not Parliament, then? Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 23:20
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    @AzorAhai-him- Ii'm not entirely sure what you mean. The prime minister is not elected by the public, she is elected by the parliament. The article is mistaken about the process, since someone elected by parliament is not automatically prime minister immediately after the vote. She declined/asked parliament to vote again between the vote and the official transfer of power, so she was not prime minister until after the second vote.
    – user141592
    Commented Dec 3, 2021 at 5:55
  • Well yes, that's what I'm asking. Who "voted her in"? I assume the article meant the public, not Parliament Commented Dec 3, 2021 at 8:54
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    @AzorAhai-him- She was elected to parliament three years ago during the last general election, along with every other MP and the past prime minister. The prime minister votes only involved MPs.
    – user141592
    Commented Dec 3, 2021 at 10:21
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    This event was horrendously misreported by media around the world to make it sound more sensational and to create catchy, yet grossly misleading, headlines. Commented Dec 3, 2021 at 17:01

The question is rather unclear, but if we stick roughly to a position called PM and some kind of election being involved... Siaka Stevens' 1967 "premiership" (in Sierra Leone) probably qualifies, although it was "ended" (or rather interrupted) by a coup, not withdrawal of support (even informal).

In elections held on 17 March 1967, the APC won by an extremely narrow margin, and Stevens was appointed Prime Minister, but he was arrested in only an astonishing several minutes after taking office during a military coup.

After a brief period of military rule, Stevens reassumed the post of Prime Minister on 26 April 1968.

Accounts of those events probably vary somewhat, but according to a Time article from 1968, Stevens only formally held power for 10 minutes in 1967 before he was deposed by the junta. According to other sources though Stevens' "arrest took place prior to the announcement of the election result." Looking at one of the sources cited for the latter, the "announcement" seems to refer to radio announcement; Brigadier David Lansana, who led the coup and ordered Stevens' arrest, also took over the radio stations. (Lansana was himself fairly quickly overthrown by other officers a few days later, resulting in Brigadier Andrew Juxon-Smith assuming power on March 27. Juxon-Smith himself was eventually overthrown by lower-ranking officers, who returned Stevens to power, more than a year later after the Lansana coup.)

As I suspect many similar examples involve coups deposing an elected government, it really depends on whether we count de fact vs de jure government etc.

And whether Stevens is a valid example also depends on whether the question is asking about the shortest term or the shortest career as PM, in case someone served multiple terms, as was the case with Stevens actually.

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