Moderates want more top women

Half the top-placed candidates for Sweden's ruling Moderate Party will be women when the party contests the 2009 European Parliament elections.

The party’s board has decided that of the four highest-placed names on its candidate list, two will be men and two will be women. A man and a woman will take each of the top two places.

Party Secretary Per Schlingman said he was happy that the party was setting concrete targets for the first time. He told Svenska Dagbladet that a similar system would be brought forward for nominations to run for the party in elections to the Swedish parliament.

The proposal is not universally popular in the party. Niklas Wykman, head of the party’s youth wing, MUF, said it was good to aim for equality, but argued that a quota system was unnecessary.