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Royals in unwitting electoral bid

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Royals in unwitting electoral bid
17:48 CEST+02:00
Voters in Sweden's general election will be able to cast a vote for Princess Madeleine or Prince Daniel, thanks to a fringe party and a quirk in electoral law.

The prince and princess have been nominated alongside Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt by a party that won eight votes at the last election. The nominations were made without their knowledge, but are entirely legal. And if enough people cross their names, they can technically be elected to parliament.

The party, Rikshuhållarna, is taking advantage of Sweden's ‘right of free nomination'. Under the law, parties can nominate candidates without gaining their consent, or evening informing them.

Sören Wibe, leader of the eurosceptic June List party, is the 34th name on Rikshuhållarna's list:

“Of course I don't like it. You can't prevent someone writing your name on a ballot paper, but it's deeply immoral. Still, you have to have a sense of humour about it,” he told The Local.

The names on the party's candidate list also include all Sweden's major political parties and a number of well-known journalists and academics.

Rikshuhållarna describes itself as a technocratic party, but its 85-year-old leader Lennart Nyberg has links to far-right groups.

“We asked our members for their proposals for who they wanted to see on the ballot paper,” Nyberg explained to The Local.

“We're just following electoral law, which says that anyone can nominate anyone else for election.”

Vivan Nilsson, press spokeswoman for the Swedish Electoral Authority (Valmyndigheten), said that at least one other party had nominated people without informing them. She said there was no way to remove yourself from a ballot paper:

“All you can do is make statements in the media to the effect that you are not a candidate.”

But if the voters decide to elect you against your will?

“Then you would be a member of parliament. You could then choose to keep the seat, but to leave the party.”

Prince Daniel, who married Crown Princess Victoria in June, is on the ballot under his former name as 'Daniel Westling, businessman, Ockelbo'. Members of the royal family may legally stand for parliament, but traditionally stay out of politics.

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