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Sjöstedt chosen as new Left Party leader

Sjöstedt chosen as new Left Party leader

Published: 06 Jan 2012 13:38 GMT+01:00
Updated: 06 Jan 2012 13:38 GMT+01:00

Jonas Sjöstedt was chosen to replace Lars Ohly as the new leader of Sweden's Left Party when the congress voted on Friday.

"I am so happy and proud," Sjöstedt said after the results came in.

Sjöstedt won over other candidate Rosanna Dinamarca with 179 votes to 39.

In a speech he promised to be a leader to Dinamarca's supporters as well.

"I will listen and work together with you. Together we can build a stronger Left Party. I am looking forward to winning the election with you," he said.

Sjöstedt, ranked by many as the favourite, has recently been slightly disappointed to see a decline in support. However, he never believed it would affect the decision on the day, and it turned out he was right.

Ulla Andersson, who pulled out of the campaign on Thursday when the party congress voted against the proposition of the party having two leaders - a decision reached only a few days ago.

A split leadership, following that of the Green Party, had been discussed for some time but has been turned down previously, both in 2006 and 2010.

The decision came as a disappointment to more than Andersson.

“I would have liked to see a split leadership and have been in favour of that from the beginning. But the party congress has made its point and there is nothing else to say about it,” said Sjöstedt.

He also said that should he win, he would make sure that more than one person will be at the front of the party.

“And one of the people who should be at the fore is of course Ulla Andersson,” he told news agency TT.

Dinamarca said prior to the vote that she believes it is important that the party, with its feminist values, has a woman at the forefront and thinks it was a shame Andersson has pulled out of the competition.

While she did not want to speculate about the chances of her winning at the time she said she believed that it was important she remained as a candidate, as the only woman left in the race, according to TT.

After Sjöstedt's win, Dinamarca was quick to express her support for the new party leader, whom she said was an "excellent representative for the party".

Despite losing by quite a significant margin of votes, she is not sad she ran for the post.

"All through this process I have done what has felt right in my heart and I still am," she told TT.

Prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, the leader of the Moderates, told TT that he welcomed the newest party leader of the opposition.

"I want to congratulate Jonas Sjöstedt and welcome him as a party leader and colleague. I look forward to meeting with him and discussing both politics and government alternatives in the future," he wrote to TT.

TT/Jenny Sundelin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:51 January 6, 2012 by Rey Stockholm
Why would people vote for communism ?

They may seem cuddly now but you have no idea how bad life would be if they came to power. Check the stats on how many millions the communists killed under Stalin.

History shows anyone who can read or think would be first
14:22 January 6, 2012 by uname
Why am I not surprised that a right wing troll yelling about Stalin is the first to comment? It seems to be their one and only "argument" against socialism. It makes about sense as me ranting about Pinochet would when one of the right-wing parties choose a party leader.

Jonas Sjöstedt is a very competent man, the Left Party made right choice.
15:06 January 6, 2012 by Rey Stockholm
Uname ignores the underlying facts about communism and the horrendous history associated with the ideology. Trying to cover up by making baseless accusations about being right wind ( incorrectly ) does not fool any reader.

Communism is not socialism - these lefties and people like uname are trying to hide their proposed tyrany and oppression behind socialism- if you are a socialst there already is a party
15:53 January 6, 2012 by uname
I would advise you to pick up a book some time, Rey Stockholm, you may actually learn something.

What, exactly, does the Left Party have to do with the acts of Stalin or any other dictator? The Left Party has fought for democracy both in the political sphere and at the workplace for a century, which is more than can be said for the parties in the current government. It is along with the Greens one of only two parties in parliament to consequently oppose the expansion of the police state such as the FRA law and the data retention directive. It is the only party that has consequently opposed venture capitalists taking over our welfare system to profit off of understaffing and providing substandard services only to send the profits off to Jersey untaxed.

If you think the Social Democratic party of today is a socialist party I can only laugh (or should I cry?) at your ignorance, they were behind many of the neo-liberal reforms of the 1990's, including the selling of Telia including the entire telecommunications infrastructure. The Left Party is the only socialist party in Sweden today.
16:44 January 6, 2012 by J Jack
Left is socialist, socialist is communist, communism doesn't work, it's been proven already. Sjöstedt need to do something about that beer belly also.
16:58 January 6, 2012 by Indignerad
The Left Party is neither communist, nor socialist. At this point their ideology is more like a very left-leaning version of social democracy, whereas the Social Democratic Party is a much more pragmatic, right-leaning version of social democracy.
17:27 January 6, 2012 by Rey Stockholm
@ uname Apologies I must be wrong in my understanding that the left party was founded as the communist party in the 1920's, through until the 70.s when "Left" was added to Communist and finally morphed to VP in the 90.s when you realised people saw communism for what it was and no support in europe.

If you are communist at least be honest and try and defend it - if you dare
21:07 January 6, 2012 by McChatter
Another white rabbit out of the top hat! Whatever happened to democracy?
22:46 January 6, 2012 by Puffin
@swenrika

it's mostly an issue of tax revenue

@mcchatter

It is the result of democracy -Norway's politics is traditionally been influenced by the temperence movement so traditionally these elected politicians vote for high alcohol taxes
23:54 January 6, 2012 by RobinHood
The traditional view of the left is that democracy is a train to be ridden to the desired destination, and then abandoned. Mr Ohly, a former communist, is an admirer of Stalin and Castro, neither well known for their democratic principals. Is democracy safe in the hands of young Mr Sjöstedt? Only until his train reaches his desired destination!
10:03 January 7, 2012 by Rey Stockholm
Dont fall for their propoganda

Left equals Communist.

Choose your favourite communist state feature - human rights abuses, loss of democracy, secret police, poverty

But not for the chosen few in the Left Communist party
02:07 January 8, 2012 by Norrlands Turk
@Rey Stockholm

You're actually Ricky Perry, aren't you?
09:56 January 8, 2012 by Rey Stockholm
@Norrlands Turk

Presume the first part of your name is à giveaway for wanting communism

With the second name I would be very worried if they came to power
21:09 January 12, 2012 by Ryn
Although the party started as a communist party they had a socialist revolution awhile back. I ask Jonas Sjöstedt back on December 8th if they had a plan to make their socialism views more know. He basically said that it is hard to change the minds of people once they have an idea about a party. He didn't reveal anything on any future plans to combat this stereotype.
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