Many Social Democrats wary of Sahlin

Despite leading the race to take over after Göran Persson, Mona Sahlin does not enjoy the full support of fellow Social Democrats in the party's 24 districts.

Four districts have pledged their support and eight say they will accept her. But a full fourteen districts have expressed reservations about Sahlin as party leader, sources close to the party nominating committee told newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Sahlin enjoys most support in her own district of Stockholm.

Mona Sahlin has not yet said whether she will accept the position of party leader if approached by the nominating committee. But it is widely assumed that she will say yes.

The process of electing a new Social Democratic party leader has been more open than usual, with the respective districts displaying unusual candour with regard to their favourites. But now the procedure has entered a more secretive phase.

The nominating committee will propose its candidate some time during the months of January or February. The candidate will then be officially chosen as party leader at a party congress in March.