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Reinfeldt werewolf pictures inflame smear scandal

Published: 28 Feb 2006 08:57 GMT+01:00
Updated: 28 Feb 2006 08:57 GMT+01:00

A picture of Moderate Party leader Fredrik Reinfeldt as a werewolf has been spread internally by the Social Democratic Party's communication department, it has been revealed.

Disclosure of the picture is the latest in a series of events which has included the firing last week of Social Democrat election strategist Mats Lindström for sending smear emails about Reinfeldt, the filing of libel charges by Reinfeldt against Lindström to the police, and the discovery of a personal blog by a Social Democrats' youth movement member accusing Reinfeldt of paedophilia.

The 'werewolf' picture shows a dark creature with pointy ears and fangs, wearing a blue jacket with the Moderate party logo and holding a poster with the face of Reinfeldt.

"The 'New' Moderates" is written under the image.

The drawing, along with others showing Reinfeldt and the Moderate Party in less than flattering light, have been spread as campaign material to Social Democratic officials throughout Sweden.

Marita Ulvskog, party secretary for Social Democrats, has categorically denied that a smear campaign against the Moderates has been ordered by party leadership, according to DN.

Instead, she has maintained that the incidents were the initiative of individual party representatives.

But Social Democratic spokeswoman Carinna Persson admitted to DN that the material was from the party and that it was perhaps ill-advised.

"In light of the debate we are in at the moment, they could have reconsidered the picture material," Persson said.

Reinfeldt said that the pictures, which were originally created by the Social Democrats' youth movement, reveal the "political culture" of the Social Democratic Party.

Nonetheless, Persson told DN, "We think that [the Moderates'] way of acting shows that they are power hungry and that their politics lead to ruthless consequences."

Paul Rapacioli (paul.rapacioli@thelocal.com)

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