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'God only knows' what could have been: Juholt

'God only knows' what could have been: Juholt

Published: 23 Jan 2012 10:13 GMT+01:00
Updated: 23 Jan 2012 10:13 GMT+01:00

Recently departed Social Democrat head Håkan Juholt said his inability to quickly put together a solid staff was one of his three biggest regrets from his ten-month tenure as head of the party.

In an interview with the local Östran/Nyheterna newspaper hours before he announced his decision to step down as leader of the Social Democrats on Saturday, Juholt explained that he has been too late in surrounding himself with a team of dependable people.

“That sort of stability makes me better, and helps me avoid mistakes and be more prepared, I needed that sort of staff earlier,” he told the newspaper.

He wished as well that he had been more forceful in defending his decision not to participate in a televised party leaders debate on Sveriges Television after being placed beside Sweden Democrat head Jimmie Åkesson, especially since Juholt believes debating is one of his strong points.

His third mistake stems from the housing allowance scandal that emerged last spring shortly after he took over as party leader whereby tax payer money went to defray the rent of his girlfriend's Stockholm-area apartment.

Click here for a photo gallery of what Stockholm residents are saying about Håkan Juholt's resignation

“I regret that we, or I, didn't just take the lift down to whoever was responsible and said, 'fix this',” he told the newspaper.

“Clearly I'm upset that we, or I, didn't deal with it right away. God only knows what would have happened, how history would have been written if I'd seen to it that we got a clear ruling.”

Juholt said he has “no thoughts whatsoever” about how will succeed him after his record-short tenure as Social Democrat party leader.

He emphasized to the newspaper that the decision to step down was one he took on his own and that no one on the party's executive committee demanded he resign.

When asked about his own future, Juholt reiterated that he remains an MP for Kalmar County and that he hasn’t had a chance to think of what he can do but hopes to “become something useful to the new leadership.”

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

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Your comments about this article

11:04 January 23, 2012 by RobinHood
He still doesn't get it.

The truly valuable people in his party got out; they didn't want anything to do with him, or his old-school, twice-rejected policies. Only the dregs remained for him to assemble his team.

His failure to debate with Åkesson was indefensible. Åkesson was democratically elected - fair and square. His refusal to debate Åkesson was an insult to the electorate, and to the democratic process. A decent understanding of, and respect for, democracy is an essential attribute for a modern Swedish party leader.

He didn't need an elevator to fix the problem of his using taxpayers' money to pay his girlfriend's rent. He should have known himself that this was wrong, and fixed it himself - by not doing it in the first place.

Sadly this man didn't have the necessary policies, wisdom or morals to be acceptable to the modern Swedish electorate. Is there anybody in the entire Social Democrat party who does? The current party seems full of old-school hacks on the make, unable to see that the electorate has moved off without them. I hope so. One party rule is not good for a country.
11:09 January 23, 2012 by johnny1939
Don't let the door hit you in the arse Juholt!!!!
11:15 January 23, 2012 by BritVik
Juholt forgot one of the golden rules - engage brain before operating mouth - added to which he was never suited to be a diplomat.

I, for one, would never have bought a used car from him.
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