• Sweden edition
 
Hägglund re-elected as Christian Democrat head

Hägglund re-elected as Christian Democrat head

Published: 29 Jan 2012 09:58 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Jan 2012 09:58 GMT+01:00

Christian Democrat leader Göran Hägglund succeeded in riding out the storm of doubts about his position over the past few months, gaining re-election at the party's national conference on Saturday, beating out challenger Mats Odell.

With 198 votes for Hägglund and only 88 for Odell, the victory was clear. Nonetheless, the turmoil and internal criticism Hägglund has faced recently has divided the party.

Hägglund has been under fire periodically following the party's poor showing at the 2010 election and after a string of weak opinion polls.

Whilst the Christian Democrats are one of the four ruling centre-right wing parties in government, the party is the smallest of the four, and opinion polls continually showing support for the party is at risk of slipping below the 4 percent threshold required to maintain representation in the Riksdag.

Mats Odell announced his intention to challenge sitting party leader Hägglund in late September 2011, representing a more morally conservative section of the Christian Democrats.

Odell and his followers felt at odds with the socially liberal direction in which Hägglund was moving the party.

Göran Hägglund was relieved after the vote, one of few in Swedish political history in which a sitting leader was challenged at the party conference.

"My job now is to reunite the party, and make sure we're all pulling in the same direction. I think the preconditions for this are good," said Hägglund at a short press conference following Saturday's vote.

Many Christian Democrats, also among those who support Hägglund, have demanded that the party be tougher, not least in negotiations with the other governing parties.

"We haven't been sufficiently clear outside the negotiation room, about what we've managed to accomplish. But we have succeeded, roughly, with everything we promised voters," said Hägglund.

According to challenger Mats Odell, it was necessary for the party to have an open brawl about party leadership, in order to vent all tension.

"Obviously it hasn't been a magnet for voters, but it was necessary to speak openly, and now get a definite response. This is a base on which to continue healing our party," he said to news agency TT after losing the vote.

"The results were clear, and a clear end to this. I will support Göran Hägglund and work with whatever tasks the party thinks I can contribute with."

Odell hopes to be allowed to continue as head of the Riksdag's enterprise committee, and as group leader for the Christian Democrats in the Riksdag.

Several MPs have questioned his suitability. But Odell doesn't see any problem with his staying on.

"I have a third of the party behind me, and I think it would be good for the party's healing process. But I'll leave it to the Riksdag group to decide."

TT/Clara Guibourg (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

12:53 January 29, 2012 by Frobobbles
Look, he is a Christian! And a Democrat!
16:16 January 29, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
....maybe: I'm not sure I'd buy a used car off him though...
20:22 January 29, 2012 by jack sprat
Why do they always present Swedish guys with bunches of flowers ?

Is their reputation for being effeminate not already bad enough ?
Today's headlines
Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'
Defence Minister Karin Enström. File photo: TT

Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'

The Swedish government has announced plans to beef up its defence forces by fitting its fleet of Gripen fighter jets with long-range cruise missiles. READ () »

Swede of the Week
Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'
Swedes vote in the 2010 elections. File photo: Dan Hansson/TT

Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'

Gösta Arvedson, 89, is the oldest Riksdag candidate in Sweden, but our Swede of the Week explains that the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) had to make some unusual promises for him to put his name forward. READ () »

Elections 2014
Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote
The Green Party is one of only two parties devoting their websites to the EU elections. Here campaign manager Emma Rung presents the party's posters. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote

The majority of Swedes feel the country's political parties are not doing enough to inform them about the upcoming European Parliament elections. Only two of the eight parties have dedicated their homepages to the May 25th polls. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping Brawl
Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders
Swedish police on the scene following Monday's fatal brawl. File: TT

Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders

The Syrian-Orthodox Church in Ektorp had tried to quell tensions between two rival families just hours before bad blood spilled into a massive brawl and two brothers lost their lives. READ () »

JobTalk Sweden
'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'
The bridge that connects Sweden to the European continent. File: L.E. Daniel Larsson/Flickr

'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'

The Swedish agency that helps Europeans fight impediments to the EU principle of free movement has revealed an increase in complaints, including one from a foreign citizen unable to open a bank account in Sweden. READ () »

Eurovision 2014
Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip
Sanna Nielsen in the new clip. Photo: YouTube (screenshot)

Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip

Sweden's Eurovision hopeful Sanna Nielsen released the official video for the song Undo on Wednesday, a clip featuring leather, slow motion destruction, and a frozen pig's heart and some violence. READ () »

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds
Swedish apartments. File: The Local

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds

A Swedish landlord suspects that a property fixer has set up a software robot to sign up for new flats on the market within seconds, and is charging house hunters to use the service. READ () »

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'

Twenty-five fire fighters were on hand on Wednesday night when a fire broke out in a southern Sweden animal park. The vast majority of the animals were unharmed, but the cluster of spiders wasn't so lucky. READ () »

Sweden Investor group posts sharp profit drop
File photo: Simon Cunningham/Flickr

Sweden Investor group posts sharp profit drop

Swedish investment giant Investor on Wednesday said its first-quarter profits slumped by a quarter, underlining Sweden's vulnerability to international instability. READ () »

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 () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 23
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
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
Advertisement:
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
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
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 »

720
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