Moderate Party: ‘half our candidates will be women’

Sweden’s Moderate Party says it wants half of the party’s candidates for the 2010 elections to be women.

In addition, at least 20 percent of the candidates will be new to politics, having never held elected office of any sort, writes the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

The decision to shake things up in the Moderate Party was taken in the most recent meeting of the party’s governing board.

“We will actively work to crush the glass ceiling and open up the party for people with different backgrounds and achieve a better gender balance,” Moderate party secretary Per Schlingmann told SvD.

The governing board’s decision on the new guidelines is expected to spark debate throughout the centre-right about the issue of gender quotas, Schlingmann believes.

“It’s a term which has been very emotionally charged, but it’s basically about our plans to work actively to achieve a more equal gender balance,” he said.