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Royals in unwitting electoral bid

Royals in unwitting electoral bid

Published: 31 Aug 2010 17:48 GMT+02:00
Updated: 31 Aug 2010 17:48 GMT+02:00

Voters in Sweden's general election will be able to cast a vote for Princess Madeleine or Prince Daniel, thanks to a fringe party and a quirk in electoral law.

The prince and princess have been nominated alongside Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt by a party that won eight votes at the last election. The nominations were made without their knowledge, but are entirely legal. And if enough people cross their names, they can technically be elected to parliament.

The party, Rikshuhållarna, is taking advantage of Sweden’s ‘right of free nomination’. Under the law, parties can nominate candidates without gaining their consent, or evening informing them.

Sören Wibe, leader of the eurosceptic June List party, is the 34th name on Rikshuhållarna’s list:

“Of course I don’t like it. You can’t prevent someone writing your name on a ballot paper, but it’s deeply immoral. Still, you have to have a sense of humour about it,” he told The Local.

The names on the party’s candidate list also include all Sweden’s major political parties and a number of well-known journalists and academics.

Rikshuhållarna describes itself as a technocratic party, but its 85-year-old leader Lennart Nyberg has links to far-right groups.

“We asked our members for their proposals for who they wanted to see on the ballot paper,” Nyberg explained to The Local.

“We’re just following electoral law, which says that anyone can nominate anyone else for election.”

Vivan Nilsson, press spokeswoman for the Swedish Electoral Authority (Valmyndigheten), said that at least one other party had nominated people without informing them. She said there was no way to remove yourself from a ballot paper:

“All you can do is make statements in the media to the effect that you are not a candidate.”

But if the voters decide to elect you against your will?

“Then you would be a member of parliament. You could then choose to keep the seat, but to leave the party.”

Prince Daniel, who married Crown Princess Victoria in June, is on the ballot under his former name as 'Daniel Westling, businessman, Ockelbo'. Members of the royal family may legally stand for parliament, but traditionally stay out of politics.

James Savage (james.savage@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

19:03 August 31, 2010 by GLO
This American-Sweede gives my vote for the Princess...
19:47 August 31, 2010 by Soft Boiled
Princess Madde gets my vote!
22:50 August 31, 2010 by DavidtheNorseman
This is so Swedish....the right to decline-with-thanks-to-my-nominator is a given elsewhere.

Best of luck Prince and Princess!

Question for you Swedes:

Assuming Soren Wibe is on his own party's list also, does his vote count include both the counts from his list and Rikshuhållarna's or is the voting independent of party affiliation?
23:58 August 31, 2010 by wxman
This princess is a real - - I don't know, a princess.
01:24 September 1, 2010 by Will Hart
This is fantastic !!! Hopefully the Swedish citizen will see the amenities of having the Princess being their representative. They will be providing her the opportunity of being the VOICE of the Swedish people.
09:04 September 1, 2010 by Sherian Elizabeth
I hope they both win. This is one very beautiful woman, heavens to be that beautiful is unbelievable. I hope her ex is eating his heart out. He is a huge fool for doing what he did to this woman. Just couldn't keep it in is pants long enough. She better off without him.
16:55 September 1, 2010 by Taxalien
Anyone can vote for anyone in Sweden. Just use the same party name.

In Stockholm you need 4000 votes to get into commune, in Gothenburg it is less, in my own it is about 800, in Malmö I think it was 900.

So all you unemployed anglosaxons: just organise yourselves and get everyone to vote one or two of you in.
20:56 September 1, 2010 by Argentina84
Perfect idea! With a little bit of luck we get the aristocracy into Parliament!

And leve Svensk demokratin! ;)
21:23 September 7, 2010 by janeway
Elections are a waste of time and money since nothing will ever change and all politicians lie. Only way to make a radical change is from the bottom to the top, not the other way aorund. Organize!
22:27 September 9, 2010 by bbryan29
As an American who has no right to vote in Sweden id say vote for the Princess , sometimes a womans touch is best.
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