Lööf rules out polygamy in Centre Party row

Lööf rules out polygamy in Centre Party row
Centre Party leader Annie Lööf cut short her holiday on Wednesday in an attempt to tackle and revise her party's radical new suggestions on immigration, polygamy and changes to compulsory education.

Speaking from Thailand, Lööf explained that the party’s proposals must be rewritten or cut out, after several of them sparked heated debate within the party and beyond.

She said she still believes large parts of the proposal are “really good” and that she had not planned to intervene until February 5th, but that the rift it has caused within her party needed addressing earlier than expected.

“My ambition is to leave intact the parts about green decentralization,” she explained to the TT news agency. “However, we need to get rid of some sections, such as polygamy.”

She also said the party needed to be more clear about what they intended with the suggestions for shorter compulsory education, open borders and free migration.

On February 5th, party members were scheduled to share their views at a convention about the proposed programme.

Lööf explained that while she was “sceptical” towards the proposals on polygamy, she still wanted to open the borders in a bid to battle Sweden’s labour shortages.

“This is a long-term vision and can’t realistically be put in place even within the next ten years,” she told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

IT Minister and party colleague Anna-Karin Hatt, meanwhile, has openly criticized several parts of the plan and said that Lööf is “fighting an uphill battle”.

“It’s hard to imagine that the party congress would vote for polygamy,” Hatt told TT.

“I hope and believe that the compulsory education will remain. If you take away compulsory education, you run a truly high risk of undermining the individual student’s right to a good education,” she said.

In mid-December, Lööf’s party, which is in the four-party government coalition, outlined a new immigration policy. About 220 local party chapters and 10,000 individuals were involved in drafting the proposed platform.

However, by late December, Sweden’s confidence in Lööf saw a record low, with only one in five Swedes claiming to trust the politician.

The proposed programme, which includes plans for open borders, polygamy, and an end to compulsory education, saw a rift open in the centre-right party, that has traditionally tackled issues important to rural communities.

“The aim of the whole process is to unify the Centre Party and to clarify what we are about,” Lööf told the Sydsvenskan newspaper at the time.

Lööf abandoned her holiday in Thailand on Wednesday afternoon and is already on her way back to Sweden, according to Sveriges Television.

TT/The Local/og

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