• Sweden's news in English

Lööf has 'lost credibility' over polygamy claims

10 Jan 2013, 17:54

Published: 10 Jan 2013 17:54 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"She showed poor political acumen by not managing to foresee the storm the platform would create," political scientist and social democrat Ulf Bjereld told the TT news agency.

Lööf was forced to cut short her holiday in Thailand on Wednesday in order to return to Sweden to deal with an ongoing crisis stemming from opposition to the Centre Party's new platform, set to be presented at the party's conference on February 5th.

After arriving in Sweden on Thursday, she held a telephone conference call with dozens of party members, and despite reiterating her desire to jettison proposals legalizing polygamy and inheritance rights, Lööf was unable to sway all of her disgruntled colleagues.

"It's not enough," Hans Lindqvist, Centre Party group leader from the Stockholm County Council, told the TT news agency of Lööf's remarks.

"The sections about a smaller state must be removed and the programme must be rewritten from the ground up."

Speaking with Sveriges Radio (SR) after the conference call, Lööf said she welcomed the ongoing debate about the party's proposals.

"When I started as party leader, I said the Centre Party's ideas should drive the debate in Sweden. I think it's good that the debate has been so lively," she said.

Lööf promised that she and the party executive board would put forward a revised proposal that is "purified of what's in there now", emphasizing the importance of classic Centre Party principals such as the environment, decentralization, and social responsibility.

"We're going to listen to our inner Centre Party soul and correct some parts and add other things," she told reporters.

Among the Lööf's Centre Party critics is foreign policy spokeswoman Kerstin Lundgren who slammed the party platform in an opinion piece published in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) on Thursday as being infused with principals that would lead to a social Darwinist society.

Lööf also came under fire for claims she had never supported polygamy after it emerged she had come out in support of it in 2006 as vice chair of the Centre Party youth wing.

"I don't think the state and laws should determine who and with whom my neighbours or I want to live," she wrote in a blog post at the time, according to SR.

"If my neighbour wants to marry two men, I wouldn't move or care. That's his or her choice."

Speaking with Sveriges Television (SVT) on Thursday, Lööf said she had expressed herself clumsily when claiming she had never supported polygamy, explaining the blog post "was written ages ago".

Story continues below…

Bjereld said Lööf's standing as party leader has likely suffered, however.

"It's especially unfortunate that Annie Lööf publicly denied having earlier been a supporter of polygamy...By twisting the truth, she strengthened the image that she is an unclear politician and her personal credibility has been undermined," he told TT.

K-G Bergström, political commentator for the Expressen newspaper, said Lööf's decision to cut her holiday short showed she "didn't have things under control".

TT/The Local/dl

Follow The Local on Twitter

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

18:31 January 10, 2013 by thecritic
No surprise about these lunatics there, but what surprise is that their party is a partner of the current government. That makes you wonder who are these lunatics are represent anyway?
20:18 January 10, 2013 by Svensksmith
"That makes you wonder who are these lunatics are representing anyway?"

Mormons or Muslims?
20:55 January 10, 2013 by NyDag
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
21:02 January 10, 2013 by johan rebel
What credibility exaclty has she lost? Never new she had any.

Having said that, I do agree that any one person should be permitted to marry any number of other persons of any sex. Why should I care? How they sort out inheritance and other issues is their problem, not mine.
21:22 January 10, 2013 by intrepidfox
It would be interesting how she felt if her poor husband had a few extra wives
21:49 January 10, 2013 by jvtx3232
Didn't the Center Party recently call for a goal of having a population in Sweden of at least 40 million people in the near future, made up primarily of foreigners? Why does the Center Party hate Sweden?
02:28 January 11, 2013 by swedepotato
What if all Mrs. Lööf ever wanted to do was denounce (what she considers) excessive government interference with people´s life choices? Anyway she's probably too radical for smug cosy Sweden.
09:05 January 11, 2013 by Kevin Harris
All parties have extremists who seek opportunities to hijack the party agenda and insert into the manifest whatever crazy idea they are obsessed with. In most countries these people are sidelined and quietly, or even publicly ridiculed by the mainstream party members who are usually far more in harmony with the general population.

Sweden's inclusive tolerant culture makes it much easier for extremists to have their day, because party leaders and other members respect these crazies right to speak, and listen politely to their madness. The press do not help, ignoring whatever the party leadership have to say, but amplifying the mindless rants of some obscure member representing Smalltown South, and presenting them to the public as party policy.

Annie has messed this up. Next time some party crackpot opens his/her mouth about polygamous marriage, or unrestricted immigration, she needs to put a stop to it chop chop. Then she might be able to enjoy her holiday in Thailand uninterrupted by this nonsense.
09:48 January 11, 2013 by Cornelius Hamelberg
The party is in dire straits The new Centre agenda when finalized , is calculated to harvest votes.

There's early Annie ( 2006) and later Annie the leader of the Centre Party.

The hullabaloo is about Lööf flip-flopping about polygamy. There is what she said/ wrote some years ago and there's her more mature position today. In my opinion she has a right to change her mind - to develop her ideas - to even move from left to right. - like David Horowitz....That doesn't mean that she's inconsistent - it can only mean that she has moved forward. However it must be impossible for her to affirm that she has never been pro-polygamy and expect to be believed when her own earlier statements, clearly contradict her..
Today's headlines
Sweden's consumption footprint 'among the worst'
Trucks transporting goods on a Swedish highway. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden has been criticized for its unsustainable consumption of the planet's resources in the latest edition of a major WWF study.

Video: How to be Joel Kinnaman for a day
Kinnaman with one of the camera rigs that will allow people inside his head. Photo: Tele2

The Swedish Hollywood actor will strap a camera to his head, stream it live and allow viewers to interact with him this weekend.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
How Stockholm's cold climate boosts creativity
Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

Do long, dark winters actually make Swedes more creative and more productive? We spoke to Stockholm startups to find out.

Meet Sweden's lonely Donald Trump voter
A Donald Trump campaign button. Photo: Rogelio V Solis/AP

The Local talks to an American Donald Trump supporter on what it is like living in progressive stronghold Sweden.

Sweden to keep record-low interest rate in 2017
Sweden's landmark negative interest rate will continue towards 2018. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The Swedish central bank said that it will take longer than expected to reach its inflation target.

Presented by Stockholm University
9 unexpected programmes at Stockholm University
Photo: Niklas Björling

Did you know Stockholm University offers 75 master's programmes taught in English? And some of them are programmes you won't find anywhere else...

Creepy clown messes with the wrong dog walker in Sweden
Not the clown in the story. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A dog helped its owner fight off a creepy clown chasing the pair in southern Sweden.

A million Swedes are digitally excluded: report
How should Sweden bridge the digital divide? Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Tech-savvy Swedes? Perhaps not. A new study suggests that at least a million of its residents feel the pain of the digital divide.

Malmö's 19th Swedish title sets Champions hopes alight
Malmö fans celebrating after the match. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Malmö FF have their eyes set on the Champions League after winning the Swedish league for the 19th time.

What's on in Sweden
Five great autumn events in Sweden this week
Jazz in northern Sweden. Photo: Umeå Jazz Festival

Food, music, movies and more food. What better way of helping yourself forget that the days are getting shorter and colder?

Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 26th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available