Första kammaren

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First Chamber

Första kammaren
Coat of arms or logo
Established22 June 1866
Disbanded20 September 1970
Meeting place
Old Parliament House, Stockholm

The Första kammaren (literally "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.[1] During the bicameral period, the lower house of the Riksdag was the Andra kammaren (literally "the Second Chamber"). Both chambers had generally similar and parallel powers.

At the time of its abolition, the First Chamber had 151 members.[2] These were indirectly elected for eight-year terms of office, from amongst the county councils (landsting) and city councils (stadsfullmäktige), which formed electoral colleges, some of which holding elections every year, with local elections being held every four years in even years when elections to the Second Chamber were not due to be held.[3]

During a large portion of the long tenure of power for the Social Democrats (between 1932 and 1976), the party remained in control of legislation thanks to its strong position in the First Chamber.[4] 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 having standing joint committees composed of members from both chambers.[5] 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.[6]

See also[edit]


  • Little encyclopaedia, publisher: Nordic AB, Malmö 1974, page 8, column 139 ff.
  • Foreign political systems, Oxford University Press 1995, Rutger Lindahl (ed.)


  1. ^ The Founder: André Oscar Wallenberg (1816-1886), Swedish Banker, Politician & Journalist, Göran B. Nilsson, Almqvist & Wiksell International, 2005, page 13
  2. ^ Information Please Almanac, Atlas and Yearbook, Volume 24, Dan Golenpaul, McGraw-Hill, 1970, page 358
  3. ^ Understanding the Swedish Model, Frank Cass, 1991, page 111
  4. ^ Coalition Governments in Western Europe, Wolfgang C. Müller, Kaare Strom, Oxford University Press, 2003 , page 201
  5. ^ Swatantra, Volume 9, Issues 1-26, page 12
  6. ^ The Parliamentary Role of Joint Standing Committees in Sweden, Neil C. M. Elder, The American Political Science Review, Vol. 45, No. 2 (Jun., 1951), pp. 464