• Sweden edition
 
SOCIAL DEMOCRATS IN TURMOIL
Juholt resigns as Social Democrat leader

Juholt resigns as Social Democrat leader

Published: 21 Jan 2012 15:00 GMT+01:00
Updated: 21 Jan 2012 15:00 GMT+01:00

Håkan Juholt on Saturday announced his resignation as leader of the Social Democrats in a hastily called press conference in his home town of Oskarshamn in southern Sweden.

Juholt took the podium in a packed shopping centre in Oskarshamn and gave a short statement ending with the news that he is to stand aside.

"I am leaving my position as chairperson of the Social Democrats with immediate effect," he said.

"I am a born Social Democrat and I am going to die a Social Democrat. The whole of my adult life I have tried to work for the Social Democrats and for the party's ideas," Juholt said in his opening comments.

Håkan Juholt, who has had a turbulent time in his short period as leader of the party which was Sweden's largest after the election last year, underlined that he had never applied for the job but had been offered it.

"From the first day I felt true support from Social Democrats across the country. The party needed a fresh start."

"The fresh start didn't pan out," he admitted.

Juholt conceded that he "had made mistakes", adding that the future would be the judge of his performance.

Håkan Juholt's statement ends days of intense speculation, and months of uncertainty at the head of the party since irregularities emerged over his parliamentary rent subsidy last autumn.

According to media reports several districts had demanded his resignation and the announcement comes only a day after senior party figures insisted that he would remain in the post and retain the support of the party hierarchy.

At a press conference later on Saturday afternoon, Social Democrat party secretary Carin Jämtin said that she would "step in and help out" while a replacement for Juholt is sought, in what she called a "unique situation".

"In an exceptional situation I will step in. But I am not acting party chairperson, I am still the party secretary," she said to TT.

Jämtin also said she had spoken to all the districts over the course of the day and that there is great sadness countrywide over what has happened.

"Håkan Juholt has reached this decision by himself. The committee declared its continued support in him yesterday but he chose to announce that he leaves his post. Everyone feels sadness over this," Jämtin said at the press conference.

"I respect his decision. Now we move on from there," she told TT.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

15:19 January 21, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
He has made a dignified withdrawal from the leadership - perhaps hoping to 'draw the line' under some negative perceptions of his party
15:22 January 21, 2012 by zircon
Yes please, keep us informed.
19:54 January 21, 2012 by Guillaume_Montréal
It was written in the sky. It's sad to see the party in such position but I really think that it's the best thing that could happened to the socialdemokraterna. After the two last historical defeats against the moderaterna, the party's head commitee wanted to cut with Mona Sahlin's trend. Instead of letting a real debate taking place within the party, they covered it and tried to go back to the "good old" folkhemmet values by choosing a guy that would personify these values : a paternalistic and reassuring figure outsider of "Sahlin's gang"...Juholt.

What the party really needs, I think, is a serious debate around the core values of the party. I do think it's necessary to reassess the folkhemmet paradigm but not only as a front but deeply. To do so, the party has to reform it's chaiman's nomination mode that is not anymore adapted to the political realities and expectations. By reforming the procedures, a healthy debate on the party's ideas might rise. It is, in my humble opinion, the difficult path the socialdemokraterna have to follow to "renew" themselves and to avoid obsolescence.
21:29 January 21, 2012 by zooeden
It was about time this corrupt porcine step down, it took a lot of time!!!
22:10 January 21, 2012 by StockholmSam
Best move for the party. The press had mortally wounded him and any effort to make him a viable candidate in the future would have been brutally difficult and divisive. But I feel for the guy. He did not seek this position; S came to him and asked him to take over when Mona left. Recently many of them hung him out to dry. It was partly his fault but blame has to be placed on the party members as well. They are divided and weak. It takes a rare and special kind of leader to unify such a group.
22:31 January 21, 2012 by The Grand Master
Time for some genuine reform methinks. Book the whole leadership on a nice cruise around the Med on a ship with an Italian captain.

Who will the totally undemocratic leadership impose on their dwindling band of supporters next?

Bye bye socialist losers.......
23:54 January 21, 2012 by jomamas
The party ideology is stuck in the last millenium.

You can only hate your own culture, language and traditions for so long before it comes back to haunt you.

Immigrants from the 3rd world are good people, and they work hard despite a bad rep - however - cultural integration is absolutely impossible at very high rates - and Sweden will merely be a big American suburb in 50 years - English will be the language of everything.

The Social Dems are form a bygone era.

We need a party that can project our culture, our pride, without admonissing others, a party that can show economic leadership and innovation without killing the working class, a party that can show pride and dignity while minding the rights of non-swedes and have an energy policy that enables Swedes to live an flourish while trying to protect the environment.

Those are the new ideals of the 'right' - i.e. rational, reasonable people who have been enlightened by the social movements of the last 40 years.

On the left - we only have crazy ideological leftovers, academic intellectual ideologies with no grasp on reality - and they are running on fumes.

All hail the end of the socialist movement.
00:58 January 22, 2012 by BillyB
dont think he will be missed
05:41 January 22, 2012 by Naoise-Ryan Israel
It would be unfortunate if the Social Democrats now tried to fudge they-

and Sweden's- future by some sort of British New Labour/Deutschen

Neues Mitte hash...

It's true that politics in Sweden have moved on from the Folketshus-

people's house.

But there's no point the Social Democrats being the largest, let alone

aspire to majority, party if they're not- well- Social Democrat.

Goodness knows the failures of Conservatism even to effeciently manage

Capitalism are obvious enough. Unless everyone has gone greedy, that

surely leaves some scope if the collective nerve is there...
07:54 January 22, 2012 by Cornelius Hamelberg
"So, oft it chances in particular men,

That for some vicious mole of nature in them,

As, in their birth--wherein they are not guilty,

Since nature cannot choose his origin--

By the o'ergrowth of some complexion,

Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason,

Or by some habit that too much o'er-leavens

The form of plausive manners, that these men,

Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect,

Being nature's livery, or fortune's star,--

Their virtues else--be they as pure as grace,

As infinite as man may undergo--

Shall in the general censure take corruption

From that particular fault: the dram of eale

Doth all the noble substance of a doubt

To his own scandal."

Speaking wholly as an outside observer, my only source of information being the Swedish media: I see the avuncular Håkan Julholt as a tragic hero of Shakespearean proportions, and see his demise as not the result of one "particular fault" because his demise started at the very beginning of his role as leader, due to some internal splitting within Mona Sahlin's old Social Democratic Party, the bad blood already there apparently ostracised Mr. Juholt to the extent that he was not even invited to Mona Sahlin's send- off party because, as rumour has it, she would have none of him.

I see Håkan Juholt as a brave man who still stands up for what he believes and towering above the few human errors he committed I see a vindictive press which persecuted him to the nth degree, hounded him, battered and bruised him at every opportunity, and I suppose that if he had continued - and to err is human - sooner or later some little mistake would have cropped up - perhaps a trumped up charge of sexual harassment by a female colleague - and then he would have suffered what Clarence Thomas called "a high-tech lynching" at the hands of the Swedish press, a press which has struck me as being orchestrated, but who is holding the conductor's baton?

After Lars Ohly it's now a more popular, less staid, less complacent and more dynamic Jonas Sjöstedt and hopefully, the Social Democrats will see a better day after resolving their internal crisis by choosing a consensus leader who has broad support from the different factions that are rumoured to exist within that party.....
10:55 January 22, 2012 by PlanB
I guess he can take off the Groucho Marx eybrows, glasses, nose and moustache disguise now.
11:37 January 22, 2012 by Cornelius Hamelberg
Naoise-Ryan Israel,

Please disabuse yourself of the idea that Social Democracy is a spent force.

The latest Gallup polls in the UK have Cameron and Milliband tying at 38% each...

In Sweden the internal splintering has to be healed. Hopefully, renewal and vision will be part of that process
19:01 January 22, 2012 by Not Dumb
Juholt wasn't one of the neolib Social Democrats, and it's been widely reported that segment of the party was after him from the start. When he tried to dismiss the apartment scandal as something that is 'business as usual' in Sweden, I don't doubt that if he didn't have the neolib wing trying to topple him, he would have succeeded.

Let's face it, in a country where only 'bribery' is termed corruption, the antics of many politicians (and those well-connected to them) are arguably full of 'funny business', assorted news accounts long bemoaning the lack of accountability of these folks. I won't mention the TV show 'Starke man' (Strong man), and the way it lampoons these kinds of activities.

In my opinion, Juholt may well have acted brashly and made mistakes, but the worst part of all this is that he was considerably more decent than most of his associates, which is why he was made party leader 10 months ago. Most sadly, it seems politics rules all here these days, and if political power and connections wasn't commonly widely perceived as superseding Swedish law by a wide margin, why would Juholt have tried to dismiss the apartment scandal by suggesting these things are commonly done?

In my own experience, I have seen that it certainly seems that those Swedes with substantive political power, and those well-connected to them, can do as they will, with my perception being that regulatory authorities and courts routinely condone this. Of course, for those of us in Sweden who are of foreign roots, there have been both governmental and news reports upon the discrimination minorities and foreigners can face. Notably, if regulatory authorities and courts are prepared to allow those Swedes that are well-connected to do as they will, what kinds of problems does that present for those not of Swedish ancestry that are living, working, or doing business here, especially if they're victimized by those 'well-connected'?

Perhaps Mr. Juholt's resignation is more than a comment upon him and the Social Democrats, instead being one more indication of the deep-seated issues that are represent a societal problem in Sweden today.
19:11 January 22, 2012 by swedejane
I don't judge the man, only the moustache.
20:28 January 27, 2012 by dookifried
People. Socialism is corrupt from its core.

Leaders who claim to have the people's best interest while taking handouts under the table for their own devious purpose is par for course.

Taking your money and giving it to your neighbor is wrong.

Stop socialism. It is a cancer on hard working citizens.
11:21 January 31, 2012 by Kemi
Wow, really? No matter what your party might do in the future? No matter what!? Wow, very unnerving. This sentence alone should disqualify him for any public positions. One should only have this kind of loyalty toward truth and justice. How do you think North Korea got to where it is today, Mr. Juholt?
21:47 February 10, 2012 by sureiam
JUHOLT,,,,,,, no comment..... lol
16:41 February 24, 2012 by OUIJA
When? Is it a promise? or you are just threatening us.
14:07 March 1, 2012 by BritVik
How on earth does anyone get born into a political party? Die as a Sosse, maybe, but born as one - - -, must be a bit of poetic licence or wishful thinking.
Today's headlines
Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat
Rickard Rundgren Björk of the coastguard services speaks to the media after the rescue operation on April 19th 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin /TT

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat

Three Saturday morning sailors had a lucky escape after their small boat collided and sank after it crashed into a cruise ship whilst sailing in the Stockholm archipelago. READ () »

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK
Sofie Marie Jansson. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK

British police have found the missing Swedish girl Sofie Jansson in London, exactly a week after she was last seen, with authorities saying she is doing well. READ () »

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Sweden's opposition party have stepped up its efforts to secure the pensioner vote by pledging to lower taxes for the elderly and make higher earners pay more. READ () »

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend
Showan Shattak pictured in Malmö before his attack. Photo: Facebook

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend

The 25-year-old man, whose stabbing by neo-Nazis sparked mass demonstrations across Sweden, has made a strong recovery in hospital and took to social media to thank supporters for campaigning against fascism. READ () »

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
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?
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
Advertisement:
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
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
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 »

749
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