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Neo-Nazi takes seat in local Swedish council

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Neo-Nazi takes seat in local Swedish council
Party of Swedes leader Daniel Höglund takes seat at Grästorp municipal council
09:08 CET+01:00
A newly elected municipal council representative from a neo-Nazi nationalist party started his first day as an elected official in western Sweden with a lesson on the ABCs of democracy.

Before the lesson, Daniel Höglund, who is also the leader of the Party of Swedes (Svenskarnas parti, SVP), appeared pleased to take part in the class.

"Good," he said before the lesson on Thursday.

"This is totally new for me."

In the 2010 general elections, the SVP won 102 votes, or 2.8 percent, in the Grästorp municipal elections in western Sweden's Västra Götaland county, giving the party its sole seat in any elected office in Sweden.

The Party of Swedes is typically described as a neo-Nazi party and views "the current chaos" as a result of democracy. It wants to replace democracy with another governmental system.

In the meantime, Höglund intends to follow all political rules that apply to an elected city council member.

"We have ambitions in the long run," said Höglund.

The party is formerly known as the People's Front (Folkfronten) and was founded by members of the former National Socialist Front (Nationalsocialistisk front, NSF), of which Höglund was also one of the two leaders, in November 2008.

At the time it dissolved, NSF was the largest neo-Nazi political party in Sweden. It became a political party on April 20th 1999, the 110th birthday of Adolf Hitler.

The Party of Swedes' win is its first-ever in party history. The last time an extreme-right white nationalist party held elected office in Sweden was nearly 70 years ago during the Second World War.

In addition to the Party of Swedes, the Sweden Democrats also won a seat in the last election, but its seat remained empty at Thursday's meeting after the party's representative resigned.

An extremely discreet level of security was discernable outside the concert hall where the meeting was held, but no protesters were present. The meeting covered only the election. The budget and other decisions will be tabled on November 25th.

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