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Liberals want to appeal election results

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Liberals want to appeal election results
08:51 CEST+02:00
The Liberal Party (Folkpartiet), which lost two seats in the Riksdag by a razor thin margin, is looking to appeal the results of Sweden's 2010 elections.

“It's reasonable that there be an appeal in Gothenburg, in the first hand, of some of the voting districts. It's important that it be investigated to see that everything is done right,” Liberal Party secretary Erik Ullenhag, told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper on Friday.

He explained that questions remain about several hundred advance ballots in Halland, which borders the Gothenburg voting district.

According to Ullenhag, it's possible that some of the votes should have been cast in Gothenburg and thus could affect the outcome. The Liberals ended up losing a Riksdag seat assigned to the Gothenburg voting district by a mere nine votes, while only seven votes kept them from gaining a seat from Arvika in Värmland county.

Several dozen votes were disqualified in Arvika for reasons which remain unclear and which could also lead to an appeal.

Meanwhile reports of new ballot handling problems show no sign of letting up.

In Leksand, located in Dalarna in central Sweden--another area where the margin of victory was close--1,000 advance ballots were found forgotten at a petrol station, the Expressen newspaper reports.

And the election results from the Baltic Sea island of Gotland are at risk of being nullified after it was discovered that a building where ballots were being counted was left unsupervised, allowing a man and his daughter to wander into the room among the stacks of ballots in the process of being counted.

“The building should be manned. There's obviously been a mistake here and I have to take responsibility,” said Morten Spencer, who is in charge of supervising the ballot counting in Gotland, to the local Gotlands Allehanda newspaper.

The prospect of new elections is real, according to Nina Pripp of the Election Review Board (Valprövningsnämden).

“It can't be ruled out,” she told Expressen.

New elections for seats in the Riksdag would be a first in Swedish political history. The new vote wouldn't encompass the entire country, however, but be restricted to the voting districts covered in the appeals ultimately approved by the Review Board.

However, a final decision about holding new elections may not come until November at the earliest but could drag on even longer, depending on the number of complaints, each of which must be investigated individually.

“There will be several decisions since we look into what the complainant will have reviewed and if it's appropriate,” said Pripp.

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