Sweden nationalist boss to announce ‘sad’ news

Jimmie Åkesson, the leader of Sweden’s nationalist Sweden Democrats (SD), is next week set to deliver “decisive” and “melancholic” news about his future. Speculation is running wild that Åkesson, who has been on sick leave since October, will give up his post.

Sweden nationalist boss to announce 'sad' news
Jimmie Åkesson has been on sick leave since October, 2014. Photo: TT

Citing an anonymous source within the party, political website Dagens Opinion said the parliament press centre has been booked for the announcement which is expected to cause “chaos” among SD members.

“Everything points to Åkesson resigning as party leader,” the website wrote, noting that the nationalist party leader’s sick leave is set to expire for a third time on March 31.

An SD spokesman declined to comment on the information.

Åkesson went on sick leave in October 2014, citing burnout in the aftermath of Sweden’s general election.

During his six-month-long absence, Mattias Karlsson has been the party’s acting leader and some have suggested that he could take over the helm of the party permanently.

In January, Sweden's Expressen newspaper published parts of an email written by Åkesson in which he said that he had full confidence in Karlsson.

He added that he and Karlsson had "worked closely together for over 15 years" and said that any suggestions about rivalry between them had been "completely plucked out of the air."

The Sweden Democrats are the third largest political party in Sweden, scoring a record 12.9 percent of the vote in September’s election.

Also in January, the party announced that it had chosen a new party secretary, with Richard Jomshof set to replace Björn Söder, one of the anti-immigration group's most senior and controversial officials.

Söder suffered fierce criticism after he, following the Paris terror shootings, questioned how “peaceful” Islam is.

Richard Jomshof, a 43-year-old who is a former teacher, has been a member of parliament for the Sweden Democrats since 2010 and is based in Helsingborg in southern Sweden.