• 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
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 »

751
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