Leader writers in the major Swedish dailies have described the events surrounding Nuder’s departure as a “political minidrama” and “much ado about nothing.” Sahlin’s handling of the situation has been described as “woolly” and “belated.”
Members of the governing right-bloc parties have pointed out that the fuss does not concern a prime minister and her finance minister; those positions are filled by better candidates, they argue. Many question Sahlin’s leadership qualities and her suitability as a candidate for the post of prime minister in the future. Others talk of a power struggle within the party.
What is not in question is whether Sahlin was right to move Nuder, known as a close ally of Sahlin’s predecessor Göran Persson. The question is why Sahlin waited so long to get rid of the man considered an “arrogant hitman,” by the Uppsala Nya Tidning newspaper.
Per Nuder claims, in an interview with Dagens Nyheter today, Saturday, that a secret conversation between Sahlin and himself was leaked to the press. Nuder criticized the party culture of “pie throwing through the media.” Nuder claims that somebody within the party’s parliamentary office planted the story to try to force him from his post.
Aftonbladet compares Sahlin’s leadership to that of Göran Persson in that she allowed him to be sacked via the press. Dagens Nyheter is more gentle and describes Sahlin as a “kind and indecisive teacher” who tried to explain to her overconfident pupil that may be he is not the best at everything.
Mona Sahlin has responded to the criticism by trying to tone down the furore underlining that Nuder has not been sacked and that she is happy that he remains in the party’s leadership and continues in his role as a member of parliament.
Sahlin points out that she received a mandate from the party congress a year ago “to build a team that also works as a team and never as a duo.” Sahlin did not rule out in the press conference, held at party HQ on Friday, that Nuder could have a role in that team.