• Sweden edition
 
Lars Ohly: Seven years at the helm of Sweden's Left Party

Lars Ohly: Seven years at the helm of Sweden's Left Party

Published: 10 Aug 2011 11:47 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Aug 2011 11:47 GMT+02:00

The Left Party will thus become the last of the three Red-Green opposition parties to appoint a new leader following their crushing defeat at the 2010 general election.

Lars Ohly was elected in 2004 as a long term successor to Gudrun Schyman, who went on to form and lead the Feminist Initiative.

Filling the charismatic Schyman's shoes proved a tough task however for Ohly and the Left Party under his stewardship was never able to get close to the record highs of the late nineties, forged on a programme of radical socialism and feminism.

Indeed not only was the Left Party unable to regain its status as Sweden's third largest party, achieved with over 12 percent of the vote in the 1998 election, an aura of ideological stagnation returned to characterise much of the party's electoral performance during the 2000s.

Lars Ohly, who was elected as leader with the support of the traditionalist wing of the party, is perhaps best known for his refusal to moderate his definition of himself as a Communist.

"It served to give a gifted leader an aura of the 1950s and made people think of the Soviet Union instead of left socialism," SVT journalist K-G Bergström wrote in the Expressen daily following Ohly's announcement.

Ohly, who is widely regarded across the political spectrum as an amiable man and skilful debater, claimed on Tuesday that his greatest success was to leave a party more united that when he found it.

In reality this unity can be attributed to the fact that Gudrun Schyman's supporters no longer felt at home in the party. Several of these less revolutionary socialist and more reform-minded Left Party members formed "Vägval Vänster" - an association often critical of Ohly and seeking to offer an alternative to his brand of socialism.

The difficulty of integrating the Left Party into a dynamic centre-left coalition to challenge the 2010 election was illustrated in 2008 when the party pulled out of talks with the Social Democrats and Green Party over differences on economic policy.

The Left Party later rejoined the Red-Green coalition but after Sweden's voters passed judgement at the 2010 election, the project was swiftly discarded.

Lars Ohly recognised on Tuesday that political leaders are measured by their election results and after polling 5.6 percent in the 2010 election, the party's poorest showing since the crisis years of 1991, internal opposition began to grow.

While as late as June 2011 Ohly pledged to fight on as leader, the pressure ultimately became too much and the keen football supporter and former train conductor decided to call time on his tenure.

Ohly has said that he plans to continue to sit in parliament for the Left Party and to cooperate in the party's process of revamping its political programme.

Three candidates - Jonas Sjöstedt, Ulla Andersson and Hans Linde - have to date put their names forward to take over the leadership. Some party members are also calling for a leadership duo along the lines of the Green Party's man/woman team.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

15:28 August 10, 2011 by The Grand Master
Adios, bye bye, see ya.......hopefully the parasitical commies can fade further into electoral obscurity. An endangered species that can't become extinct fast enough.
06:13 August 11, 2011 by jomamas
I just came back from a trip to Poland and witnessed first hand how communism has destroyed an entire nation so much that it will take generations to rebuild. (Of course it's a lot more than that, but communism is a big part of it) ...
16:49 August 12, 2011 by conboy
Ohly ran them into the ground the commies are gone !
17:38 August 12, 2011 by RobinHood
An admirer of Stalin and Castro. Not much of a democrat, not much of a politician, not much of a party leader and not much of a man.

A fair representative of the values and ethics of the Left Party - the Swedish communist party, in all but name. He is probably the best they had/have.

His most significant contribution! Probably his disastrous alliance with the Social Democrats that dragged Mona to the left and repulsed mainstream voters in the 2010 election. Not many politicians get to screw up two parties at the same time; good job Lars; you will be sadly missed.
22:23 August 12, 2011 by Finnpundit
A true enemy of the people, as all communists are.
17:55 August 13, 2011 by conboy
and nazi*s
12:39 August 15, 2011 by flintis
Good riddance, they commies as bad as, if not worse than the nazi's so why not the same hullabaloo???
13:57 August 16, 2011 by Kevin Harris
Some one ought to say something nice about Mr Ohly; he was always very kind to dogs. There, I did it.
Today's headlines
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Emir Selimi: The winner of the 2014 Raoul Wallenberg Prize. Photo: Charles L. Sjölander

Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize

A Roma man has been hailed as "inspirational" after scooping this year's Raoul Wallenberg Prize for setting up an organization to help stamp out racism against the community. READ  

Goverment keen on Nato forces in Sweden

Goverment keen on Nato forces in Sweden

Nato will soon be able to deploy military forces to Sweden with the government likely to sign an agreement with the military alliance this week, but an expert told The Local that full membership remains unlikely. READ  

Beggar hit in exhaust fume 'attack'
Exhaust fumes. Photo:Shutterstock.

Beggar hit in exhaust fume 'attack'

A beggar in southern Sweden was forced to flee in terror after she was enveloped with thick black smoke, part of an apparent attack that was captured on video and spread via social media. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden opens the gates for election voting
Don't forget to vote. Photo:Shutterstock.

Sweden opens the gates for election voting

If you're busy on September the 14th, or simply can't wait to have your voice heard, Wednesday morning marked the opening of the polling booths for early-bird voters. READ  

Whooping cough alert after two infants die

Whooping cough alert after two infants die

The Swedish Public Health Agency has urged parents to be aware of the dangers of the infectious whooping cough disease after two babies have recently died from the illness. READ  

Chuck Berry wins 2014 Polar music prize
Chuck Berry performing in Oslo in 2007. Hakon Mosvold Larsen /Scanpix Norway

Chuck Berry wins 2014 Polar music prize

The Polar music prizes were handed out in Stockholm on Tuesday night, with Chuck Berry and theatre director Peter Sellars sharing one million kronor ($153,000) in prizes. READ  

Swedish store scraps high heels for toddlers
The shoes pictured are indeed the shoes in question. Photo: Joakim Loamotte/TT

Swedish store scraps high heels for toddlers

UPDATED: A social media storm has seen a supermarket chain recalling its heeled children's shoes. The man behind the storm says other countries could learn from how seriously Sweden takes equality. READ  

My Swedish Career
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Scarlet Vikarby and her husband Jimmy. Photo: Private

'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'

American Scarlet Vikarby owns a home theatre installation business. She talks to The Local about owning a company, how being a woman can be a game changer, and how to overcome reserved Swedes. READ  

Elections 2014
Why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
The Alliance leaders. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty

Sweden's prime minister got his claws out on Tuesday, accusing the opposition of "promising everything to everyone". With the elections just weeks away, an expert tells us why the campaigning is heating up. READ  

Elderly Swede unhurt after train runs over her
A freight train in Sweden. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/TT

Elderly Swede unhurt after train runs over her

An elderly woman decided to take a stroll on the Swedish railway tracks on Tuesday afternoon, for no apparent reason. After being run over by a freight train the woman emerged completely unharmed. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Politics
"Iraq reminds me of the Yugoslav wars. It's the same story."
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Society
Lock your bathrooms: Swedish toilet invader on the the loose
Politics
'Assange will not leave until safe'
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Shutterstock
Lifestyle
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
Politics
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

723
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se