Feminists refuse to rule out future elections

Sweden's Feminist Initiative has again refused to rule out standing in future elections, despite accepting state aid to which political parties are not entitled.

Speaking to The Local on Wednesday morning, spokeswoman Gudrun Schyman said that the Feminist Initiative (Fi) had “made no decision on the future of Fi as a political party.”

In a statement released later on Wednesday, she said:

“The Feminist Initiative does not rule out the possibility of standing in future elections, but we are now focusing on public education.”

Fi fielded candidates in September’s election, is still registered as a political party at the Swedish Electoral Commission and has one Member of the European Parliament, who defected from the Liberal Party.

This week it was revealed that the party received a 400,000 kronor grant from a state body charged with awarding money to gender equality projects.

The rules governing the distribution of the grants specifically disqualified political parties from receiving them. Fi was given the grant after it said that it would not stand for election in 2007 – a year in which no elections are scheduled in Sweden anyway.

The party claims that it is in a unique position, as it focuses on public education as well as politics.

“Feminist Initiative is a movement that can take parliamentary initiatives if members decide to do so,” said Schyman’s fellow spokeswoman, Sofia Karlsson.

“Feminist Initiative is a hybrid in this context – something new,” she said.

The statement said the question of whether to stand in elections would be debated at the movement’s national congress, to be held in Stockholm in March.