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Sweden Democrats tip scales in 30 councils

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12:28 CEST+02:00
The Sweden Democrats hold the balance of power in 30 of Sweden's 290 municipal councils, the anti-racist magazine Expo revealed on Wednesday in a compilation of election results.

Mattias Karlsson, the party's press director, told Expo that the party would support the coalition that would have the most impact on its policies with their support, underlining that there would be no key decision or guidelines to determine which coalition to support.

One of the 30 municipalities where the Sweden Democrats hold the balance of power is Bjuv in Skåne, where it won 19.6 percent support and six seats.

The party's leader in the municipality, Allan Jönsson, revealed that before the elections, discussions took place with one of the other parliamentary parties in the municipality. He declined to tell Expo which it was.

"I cannot reveal that," he told the magazine, which once had best-selling author, Stieg Larsson as its editor.

"We with the Sweden Democrats in Bjuv work a little differently than many other party divisions in the country. We are willing to cooperate with all parties as long as it benefits the citizens of the municipality best."

The party, on paper, also holds the balance power in larger municipalities such Norrköping, Borås and Västerås.

In all the 27 municipalities, the Sweden Democrats tipped the scales between the coalitions, with the help from local parties or parties without parliamentary representation.

In many municipalities, the Sweden Democrats hold the balance of power together with the Swedish Senior Citizen Interest Party (Sveriges pensionärers intresseparti, SPI) or other local parties of discontent, the report said.

In Haninge, the party holds the balance of power with the Socialist Justice Party (Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna). In Gislaved in Småland, the Sweden Democrats hold the balance of power with the Communist Party, which refuses to cooperate with them, according to the magazine.

The Communist Party's front man in Gislaved, Curt Vang, believes that in practice, the party will not hold the balance of power.

"In Gislaved, the Centre Party has previously worked with the Social Democrats, but in the last term, was part of the Alliance," he explained. "They will probably switch to the Social Democrats or the Alliance will come to terms with the Green Party."

In the previous legislative period, the Sweden Democrats held the balance of power in a handful of municipalities. Karlsson believes that the party's representatives at the municipal level must be much tougher in any negotiations that may occur in the near future.

"We need to be tougher in negotiations and clearer about what we want," he said to the magazine.

In Landskrona, a former party stronghold, the Sweden Democrats declined by a full seven percentage points. Karlsson argued that accordingly, Landskrona is a place where the party needs to place more demands in negotiations.

"It is about living up to the voters' hopes," he said.

Separately, Sweden Democrats' electoral success means that the party can nominate more than 40 new jurors in southern Skåne and receive a total of 120 jurors in Skåne courts, according to TV4 News Malmo on Wednesday.

Included in this allocation would be the administrative courts (Förvaltningsdomstol), which are charged with among other things, handling applications for asylum.

Earlier, chief prosecutor Sven-Erik Alhem warned that it could lead to people with different ethnic backgrounds having less confidence in the courts, but Carina Herrstedt, the Sweden Democrat's second vice chairperson, said it is "horrible to believe" that there would be reason for concern.

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