Thomas Bodström: Sahlin victim of a coup

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Thomas Bodström: Sahlin victim of a coup
Photo: Simani; Norstedts

Mona Sahlin was ousted by a a group of her main opponents for the post as leader of the Social Democrats, according to revelations in a new book published by former justice minister Thomas Bodström.


"That was what Mona Sahlin was most disappointed about that there were so few who stood up for her. 'Cowards' she called them," Bodström writes, naming Helen Fritzon, Morgan Johansson and Peter Hultqvist, as well as new party leader Håkan Juholt.

Bodström argues that Sahlin should have been the "perfect" party leader.

Her only mistakes, Bodström claims, was that she was too quick to speak to the media when she came under fire and that her approach of "uniting the party, then changing policy and then changing the party", was conducted in the wrong order.

Bodström's book, entitled "Inifrån - makten, myglet, politiken" (literally: the inside story - power, cronyism, politics), is released on Monday.

Bodström and his publisher have been restrictive in leaking the book's contents ahead of its release and according to several media reports, the party hierarchy has been denied access ahead of the release.

"As we have said that we are not going to release any specific details about the book in advance that also applies to this blog - even if there has been some internal pressure," Bodström wrote on his blog on Saturday.

Håkan Julholt is accused in the book of conducting a "coup" against Sahlin by calling for a replacement of the party executive committee and governing board in November 2010 soon after the party's poor election showing.

Juholt's call was made in support of the party's youth league, whose leader Jytte Guteland was the first to call for change and was the opening salvo in a bitter internal struggle within the party which led to the change in leadership.

In an interview in the Expressen daily last week Håkan Juholt played down the importance of the revelations in Bodström's book.

"It can't always be that easy to follow politics when you are not in the country," he said.

Bodström furthermore adds that the calls for change should not necessarily have needed to lead to the end of Sahlin's tenure at the head of the Social Democrats.

"It may have been enough for Håkan Juholt to have become chairperson of the parliamentary defence committee and thus a member of the parliamentary group committee."

Thomas Bodström served as justice minister in the government led by Göran Persson. He announced the resignation of his Riksdag seat in October 2010 after his request for a leave of absence had been denied.


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