Fredrik Reinfeldt during his election campaign. Photo: TT
The man who led Sweden for eight years has shunned the limelight since his centre-right coalition government was ousted in Sweden's general election in September 2014, but gave a rare interview to Swedish television network SVT as he prepared to leave his role as leader of the Moderate Party on Saturday.
Describing the election that toppled him as "tumultuous" he told the broadcaster he was not surprised by the political turmoil that followed, including Stefan Löfven's new fragile minority Social Democrat-led coalition facing a budget crisis that almost triggered a fresh snap election.
The former Prime Minister argued that while his party had always been "well prepared" when it came to cooperating with potential coalition partners, the Social Democrats had made a mistake by leaving coalition talks and negotiations with others until after the election.
Over the past few months, Reinfeldt has left the day-to-day running of his Moderate party to acting leader Anna Kinberg Batra, who is expected to be officially selected by party members on Saturday.
His only major public appearances were at a UN climate summit in New York and at the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) annual conference in London, when he warned that Europe needs to be better prepared for future financial crises.
But Reinfeldt told SVT that an international career was not on the cards following his departure from Swedish politics, saying his intention was "to remain in Sweden and to live where I live".
He said that he would "continue caring about the world and Sweden" but not through the prism of party politics, adding that his immediate plans included writing and hosting lectures.
Reflecting on how the world changed during his political tenure, he argued that it was more "insecure" in many ways.
"There is growing religious intolerance and several countries have gone in a more authoritarian direction. It is very popular to talk about Russia [in this context], but I see signs in both China and Turkey, too".