• Sweden edition
 
SOCIAL DEMOCRATS IN TURMOIL
Håkan Juholt survives to lead another day

Håkan Juholt survives to lead another day

Published: 20 Jan 2012 16:40 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Jan 2012 16:40 GMT+01:00

The Social Democrats' executive committee (Verkställande Utskottet, VU) expressed its continued confidence in embattled party head Håkan Juholt on Friday following two days of intense meetings about his leadership.

"He's going to continue working as the head of the party," party secretary Carin Jämtin said of Juholt following the meetings on Friday afternoon.

"We're going through the deepest crisis in our party's history."

According to Jämtin, the executive committee discussed the situation for the party as well as for Sweden.

"We've had long discussions about politics, but also about leadership. We're going to take those conversations forward," she said, adding that Juholt has now returned to his home in Oskarshamn in southern Sweden to recuperate.

Earlier in the day, reports emerged that three party districts – Örebro, Sörmland and Västmanland – had called for Juholt to step down.

Other districts expressed their support, while other refused to come down on one side or the other.

On Thursday night, following the first day of meetings, many executive committee representatives said they continued to support Juholt as party leader.

While some representatives refused to speak with reporters, others were clear about their support for Juholt.

“I and the entire executive committee have confidence in Håkan Juholt,” committee member Peter Hultqvist told the Expressen newspaper.

“Now I've said it and that's enough.”

Sven-Erik Österberg pointed out that the committee would continue their meeting on Friday, while Leif Pagrotsky said he too had confidence in Juholt.

“We've talked about it the whole day, among other things. I have no other message than what I said when I came here, my confidence in him is still valid,” Pagrotsky told reporters.

Up for discussion at the meeting was exactly how Juholt had handled proposals about the a-kassa unemployment insurance programmes in the Social Democrats' shadow budget, which was presented in the autumn.

Some party insiders accused Juholt of trying to remove a proposal about raising unemployment insurance benefits, but according to the TT news agency, the executive committee ultimately accepted Juholt's version of events regarding how the suggestion was handled.

Juholt, along with the party's economic policy spokesperson Tommy Waidelich, have claimed that they never tried to remove the a-kassa proposal from the first draft of the budget.

During the meeting, however, at least one committee member, Elvy Söderström, reportedly put forward a motion for Juholt's removal as party leader, Expressen reported, citing text message exchanges with committee members during Thursday afternoon's meetings.

The leader pages of Swedish newspapers with Social Democratic leanings expressed their concern about how continued questions about Juholt's leadership have affected the party's future.

“When there is only one candidate who really no one is in agreement about, conflicts occur. Conflicts which the party lacks ways to deal with,” the local Piteå-Tidningen wrote in an unsigned editorial on Friday.

The local Västerbottens Folkblad newspaper expressed similar sentiments, concluding that the reason the Social Democrats are struggling in the polls is due to “the party's inability to discuss sensitive matters, take decisions, and then stick together.”

The national Aftonbladet newspaper (which is independent but Social Democratic), describes a crisis which encompasses much more than the question of who will lead the party.

“The key issue today isn't, 'do you have confidence in Håkan Juholt'? The key question is: 'does Swedish social democracy have confidence in itself?',” Aftonbladet wrote.

The local Arbetarbladet stated that the party's crisis is too deep to be solved by Juholt's ouster.

“What we see today is the result of a mistreatment that has resulted in a party without political direction,” the paper wrote.

As the Social Demcrats' executive committee gathered again at party headquarters on Friday morning Juholt emphasized that the question of his leadership wasn't on the agenda.

“I repeat that the meeting isn't about whether I should continue as party leader or not,” Juholt told reporters.

However, Österberg claimed that the committee would likely broach the subject of the party's leadership.

“That's what's going to be discussed,” he said ahead of Friday's meeting.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

11:14 January 20, 2012 by Essingen
I'm sure the alliance parties will be pleased to see him continue.
11:38 January 20, 2012 by flintis
Why prolong the agony????
13:48 January 20, 2012 by RobinHood
@Flintis

So they can sack him in 2013 and the new leader can ride the honeymoon popularity boost into the 2014 election. He's a dead man walking.
16:12 January 20, 2012 by The Grand Master
This man is a political giant. A titan in the mould of Churchill! Long may he reign as supreme leader of the Social Democrats.

I'm sure with his wisdom and all round genius they will break through the 50%* barrier at the next election......please do everything you can to protect him!

* Sorry, did I write 50%? I meant to say 5%

Bye bye Socialists.......down the plughole of history you go, and good riddance!
17:35 January 20, 2012 by McChatter
He's gone back to Oskarshamn to recuperate? Why? He's just had a month's holiday, for crying out loud! What a wally!

When he does do the right thing and resign, then the VU will have jam all over their faces. They have repeatedly expressed confidence in him the last week and they can't drop him now without losing face.

Maybe the reds can sign up one of Kim-Il Sung's sons. LOL!
00:23 January 21, 2012 by Dr. Dillner
Thank you, @The Grand Master, my words exactly.
09:17 January 21, 2012 by The Grand Master
Nooooooooooooooooo................He's going to quit today! Hounded out by a media that just doesn't understand true greatness!

The Social Democrat Pollitt Bureau can now go and hide behind closed doors, and after weeks of Soviet-era style in-party fixing, impose another complete loser on their dwindling band of supporters.

Total and utter farce, and as for the 'Democrat' in Social Democrat, well they can scrap that part of their name.

Why don't they just call it a day? Break up, and the hardcore lefty loons can go join the Left (ex?) communist party. The others (unions, scroungers, oldies who don't know any better), can go and do something useful with their lives for once.

Tha Alliance thousand year empire (I was tempted to say 'thousand year Reich' there-oops!) can now continue!!!

All hail Kim il Reinfeldt (check those leader ratings in the opinion polls if you don't believe me!)
Today's headlines
Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden
Michael Boatwright (R) and Medieval knight re-enactors.

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden

The "motel mystery" American who baffled US authorities by only speaking Swedish when he woke up from a coma last year has passed away, Swedish media reported on Wednesday. READ () »

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king

UPDATED: Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits. READ () »

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop
TeliaSonera CEO Johan Dennelind. File photo: TT

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop

Stockholm-listed telecom operator TeliaSonera on Wednesday said profits had fallen in the first quarter, but hoped offering customers more data solutions in the future would turn things around. READ () »

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'
Fredrik Reinfeldt. File photo: TT

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday urged young voters to head to the European parliamentary polls on May 25th "to cure the European disease of nationalism". READ () »

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg at the first quarter press conference. Photo: TT

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson on Wednesday announced a drop in sales but posted a sharp rise in first-quarter profit, which nonetheless fell shy of analyst predictions. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping brawl
Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals

Swedish police fear that several people involved in a brawl in eastern Sweden on Monday night may be seeking revenge after two brothers were shot dead. READ () »

Sponsored Article
Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden
The town of Västervik.

Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden

Ask a Swede, and they are likely to say that their favourite holiday spot is in the southeast of Sweden. Eastern Småland and Öland offer a smörgåsbord of all the things dearest to the Swedes - from the beloved children's book author Astrid Lindgren to deep forests, long sandy beaches, perfect spots for that all-important 'fika', and a surprising amount of space, peace and quiet. READ () »

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth
Swedes enjoy hot dogs and cherry blossoms in Stockholm's Kungsträdgården. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth

The sun is set to stick around and temperatures could climb into the twenties over the weekend, Swedish meteorologists said on Wednesday READ () »

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

A 21-year-old man confessed on Wednesday to sex crimes against eight children at a day care where he was working as an intern. READ () »

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles
An unrelated bodybuilder. File photo: Ann Törnkvist

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles

Police in Sweden's south who hauled a muscular man in for steroid testing have had their knuckles rapped, after it was ruled that big biceps cannot be grounds for narcotics suspicions. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Advertisement:
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
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 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

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

712
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