Speaker of the Riksdag

The speaker of the Riksdag (Swedish: Riksdagens talman) is the presiding officer of the national unicameral legislature in Sweden.

Speaker of the Riksdag
Riksdagens talman
Coat of arms of the Swedish Parliament.svg
Flag of Sweden.svg
Andreas Norlén in 2019.jpg
Andreas Norlén

since 24 September 2018
The Riksdag
StyleSwedish: Herr talman
(English: "Mr Speaker")
SeatParliament House
AppointerThe Alderman
Term lengthFour years (de facto)
Inaugural holderHenry Allard
Formation1617; 405 years ago (1617)
DeputySee List of Deputy Speakers
Salary2,112,000 kr annually[1]

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.[2]

Duties of the speakerEdit

The speaker is the head and presiding officer of the Riksdag, and is elected by the chamber as the first order of business when the Riksdag re-convenes following a general election. As such, the speaker coordinates the work that takes place in the Riksdag. The office is mandated in the Swedish constitution and the duties of the office are set out in the Instrument of Government (1974) and the Riksdag Act.

The speaker themselves does not take part in debates, nor do they participate in the parliamentary committees. Consequently, they have no vote, and a substitute is appointed to fill his or her seat in the Riksdag during their time in office. While the speaker is still one of the elected representatives of the Riksdag, they are expected to remain unbiased and objective with regards to the political issues that are debated.

In terms of official protocol, the position of speaker is the second highest-ranked public position in Sweden. Only the monarch outranks the speaker since the monarch is the head of state. However, since that position is hereditary, a person cannot be elected to become the monarch. Additionally, the speaker nominally outranks the prime minister of Sweden, even though (since the 1974–75 reforms) that person is the country's de jure and de facto chief executive.[3]

Appointment and dismissal of the prime ministerEdit

One of the more important aspects of the work of the speaker is to head negotiations concerning the forming of a new government in case there is a shift of power after an election. The speaker can then dismiss a prime minister who is voted out of office, which happened for the first time on 25 September 2018.[4] After the negotiations, the speaker proposes the new prime ministerial candidate to the chamber, and following a positive vote, the speaker signs the commission (Swedish: förordnande) on behalf of the Riksdag. The prime minister appoints and dismisses their own cabinet ministers, forming the government (Swedish: Regeringen), without the involvement of the speaker.[3][5]

In case of either a voluntary resignation or a vote of no confidence, the letter of resignation of a prime minister is handed to the Speaker.

In most other parliamentary systems, including other constitutional monarchies, these duties are instead handled by the head of state. Relieving the Swedish Monarch from exercise of political powers, although not the key objective from the outset, became nevertheless an important part on the constitutional reform in the 1970s.

Deputy speakersEdit

The speaker is assisted by three deputy speakers who are also elected by the chamber.[6] 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 leading party of the largest party bloc should hold the speakership (and thus also the position of First Deputy Speaker). Unlike the Speaker (and cabinet ministers), the deputy Speakers are not replaced by an alternate and remain members of the Riksdag with voting rights.[6]

Regent ad interimEdit

In case all adult members of the Swedish royal family who are in the line of succession to the throne, as prescribed in the Act of Succession, are out of the country, the speaker assumes the role of Regent ad interim (Swedish: Riksföreståndare). This would also be the case if they were all to decease.

Riksdag BoardEdit

The speaker chairs the Riksdag Board (Swedish: Riksdagsstyrelsen), which deliberates on the organisation of the work of the Riksdag, directs the work of the Riksdag Administration (Swedish: Riksdagsförvaltningen) and decides upon matters of major significance concerning the international contacts programme.

War DelegationEdit

The speaker chairs the War Delegation (Swedish: Krigsdelegationen), when it is deemed necessary to convene.

List of speakersEdit

Speakers of the bicameral Riksdag (1867–1970)Edit

Speakers of the First Chamber (upper house)Edit

Speakers of the Second Chamber (lower house)Edit

Speakers of the unicameral Riksdag (1971–present)Edit

Portrait Speaker
Term Political Party Election Constituency
Took office Left office Duration
 Allard, HenryHenry Allard
15 January 1971 (1971-01-15)1 October 1979 (1979-10-01)8 years, 259 daysSocial Democrat1970
Örebro County
 Bengtsson, IngemundIngemund Bengtsson
1 October 1979 (1979-10-01)3 October 1988 (1988-10-03)9 years, 2 daysSocial Democrat1979
Halland County
 Peterson, Thage G.Thage G. Peterson
(born 1933)
3 October 1988 (1988-10-03)30 September 1991 (1991-09-30)2 years, 362 daysSocial Democrat1988Stockholm County
 Troedsson, IngegerdIngegerd Troedsson
30 September 1991 (1991-09-30)3 October 1994 (1994-10-03)3 years, 3 daysModerate1991Uppsala County
 Dahl, BirgittaBirgitta Dahl
(born 1937)
3 October 1994 (1994-10-03)30 September 2002 (2002-09-30)7 years, 362 daysSocial Democrat1994
Uppsala County
 Sydow von, BjörnBjörn von Sydow
(born 1945)
30 September 2002 (2002-09-30)2 October 2006 (2006-10-02)4 years, 2 daysSocial Democrat2002Stockholm County
 Westerberg, PerPer Westerberg
(born 1951)
2 October 2006 (2006-10-02)29 September 2014 (2014-09-29)7 years, 362 daysModerate2006
Södermanland County
 Ahlin, UrbanUrban Ahlin
(born 1964)
29 September 2014 (2014-09-29)24 September 2018 (2018-09-24)3 years, 360 daysSocial Democrat2014Västra Götaland County
 Norlén, AndreasAndreas Norlén
(born 1973)
24 September 2018 (2018-09-24)Incumbent3 years, 327 daysModerate2018Östergötland County

See alsoEdit

Historical predecessor


  1. ^ "Frågor & svar samt statistik över ledamöternas arvoden" (in Swedish). Riksdag. Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  2. ^ "Andreas Norlén Elected Speaker of the Riksdag". Publicnow. 24 September 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b Riksdagsförvaltningen. "The tasks of the Speaker". www.riksdagen.se. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
  4. ^ Article in Dagens Nyheter 2018-09-25
  5. ^ Riksdagsförvaltningen. "Forming a government". www.riksdagen.se. Retrieved 2021-06-28.
  6. ^ a b Riksdagsförvaltningen. "Deputy Speakers". www.riksdagen.se. Retrieved 2021-06-28.

External linksEdit