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Ohlsson defies critics to claim EU minister post

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 2 Feb 2010, 09:41

Published: 02 Feb 2010 08:53 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Feb 2010 09:41 GMT+01:00

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The Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) have been looking for a replacement for Malmström since it became clear that she would take Sweden's seat on the EU Commission. Malmström left the government on January 22nd.

Jan Björklund has sounded out several candidates over the post, newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports, but all have declined, citing the short period before the next general election.

Ohlsson, the charismatic Liberal foreign affairs spokesman, emerged as an early favourite but has been reported to be less popular within the party hierarchy due to perceived disloyalty on a number of issues.

Ohlsson grabbed the headlines last year as an outspoken critic of the FRA signals intelligence law passed by the government last October, at one point threatening to vote against the government.

Birgitta Ohlsson, who has established liberal feminist credentials, has adopted positions contrary to the party position on several further issues such as parental leave quotas, which could have a bearing on the autumn election.

Story continues below…

While Ohlsson is an enthusiastic advocate of Sweden joining Nato, one explanation forwarded by Dagens Nyheter for her appointment to the post could be to attract left-liberal voters who would otherwise cast their vote for the left-green coalition.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:28 February 2, 2010 by ShaneW
No I do not believe this is a move by Folkpartiet to attract 'Liberal Left' voters. I dont think many Liberal Lefties would be swayed by someone who wants Sweden to join NATO.

Admittedly she is on a different wing of the Party than Leader Jan Björklund but its the same I guess with the UK liberals and someone like Simon Hughes MP who has probably the most working class seat in the UK (Southwark and Bermondsey.)

In the usual Local style have they just translated the Swedish media again or is the following statement the Locals own observation?:

'While Ohlsson is an enthusiastic advocate of Sweden joining Nato, one explanation for her appointment to the post could be to attract left-liberal voters that would otherwise cast their vote for the left-green coalition.'

How about the fact she is, with her Foreign Affairs brief the best person for the job?
09:32 February 3, 2010 by xenyasai
Let us not forget she was against FRA and IPRED, but for some reason changed her mind and voted eventually 'yes' on both.

So as a politician she will problably do a good job.
10:28 February 3, 2010 by horace_engdahl
@xenyasai Agreed, I haven't forgotten her voting record either..
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