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Racist comments force out local politician

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Racist comments force out local politician
Photo: Peter Knutsson
17:19 CET+01:00
Marge Aab Svensson, a Moderate Party politician and head of Vallentuna recreational committee, has left her post following charges she referred to a colleague using racially insensitive language.

Aab Svensson also serves on the municipal executive committee and municipal council of the Stockholm suburb.

According to local newspaper Mitt i Vallentuna, she was one of the municipality's premier politicians, but now stands accused of referring to a colleague as a “jävla blatte, jävla svartskalle.”

The ethnic slur translates roughly into “damn coloured person, damn black head.”

Three municipality employees have confirmed that Aab Svensson made racially insensitive comments, including recreation centre manager Jan Åke Bredberg

“I reacted strongly to what she said. Such statements simply can't be made by an elected official,” Bredberg said to Mitt i Vallentuna.

“Its important to state that we in the administration have no reason to speak badly about her. We feel that she has been a good chair. But seeing as how three different people heard what she said on three different occasions, we felt forced to do something,” he said.

Aab Svensson rejects the accusations, claiming they are based on rumours.

“I've expressed myself using negative terms in a telephone conversation about an appointment within the recreation centre's administration which I thought should have gone to a woman, but I didn't use racist terms,” she said to Dagens Nyheter.

Nevertheless, she has decided to leave her post on the recreation committee and municipal executive committee, citing her colleagues' loss of confidence in her ability to carry out her responsibilities.

She intends to retain her position as a representative in the Vallentuna municipal council.

“As a representative in the municipal council, I have been elected by the citizens and I see no reason to leave that position,” she said.

The Vallentuna municipal council chair Ray Idemark, also of the Moderate Party, isn't currently considering putting any additional pressure on Aab Svensson to give up her post on the council.

“It's inappropriate for her to remain, but no one can force her to leave her position,” he said.

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