Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has formally resigned from office for the second time, months after a vote of no confidence and political infighting stalled his agenda ahead of the country's upcoming 2022 general election.
Lofven was filmed on Wednesday handing his resignation letter to the speaker of the parliament, Andreas Norlen, marking the end of his seven-year tenure as prime minister.
Back in August, Lofven had announced his intention to resign from office, claiming that he wants to give his successor "the best of conditions" ahead of the 2022 general election.
"The decision has matured over time. I have been party chairman for ten years, prime minister for seven. These years have been amazing. But everything comes to an end," Lofven said.
Throughout the last year, Sweden has been dogged by political infighting that saw Lofven quit as prime minister after losing a vote of no confidence. He was later re-appointed as the country's leader after opposition parties were unable to form a government.
The dispute that led to Lofven's downfall had centered around a debate about housing market policy, which cost the Social Democrats their coalition partner, the Left Party, depriving the government of a majority.
Magdalena Andersson, the finance minister, was recently elected to replace Lofven as the leader of the Social Democrats. Lofven's resignation clears the way for her to become the nation's first female prime minister, if she can secure the backing of a majority of MPs.
It is not clear when a vote will be held in Sweden's parliament on whether to appoint Andersson as Prime Minister. The Center Party has said it will back Andersson's bid to take over from Lofven as the nation's leader. The Left Party and Green Party are expected to do the same.