Yesterday elections took place in Sweden and today it appears that Sweden has for the first time in history elected a right-leaning government for two mandate periods in a row. The introduction of the Swedish Democrats—an immigrant-hostile party—into the Swedish government is also noteworthy.
After the initial count it appears that the Moderates will stay in power for yet another term in the Swedish government. Still, the current situation is not favorable as the Moderates did not win a majority of seats in the government. This means that in order to get a majority the Moderates will have to lead in partnership with an opposition party—and the most likely candidate is the Environment Party. This is, however, an offer that the Environment Party, has declined so far, despite having enough numbers to make up a majority bloc.
Perhaps not surprising is the introduction of the controversial Swedish Democrats in the government. In the last elections the party did not receive enough votes to be included in the government, still, yesterday they managed to gather no less than 5.7% of the Swedish people’s votes and 20 out of 249 mandates in the government. At this point however, neither the leading Alliance parties nor the Opposition wants to include the newcomers in the government.
The Swedish Democrats are notoriously known for their distinctive anti-immigration policies and for their nationalistic views. While some might believe that it is a former Nazi sympathizing party this is not true. In 2005 the party in fact excluded the chairman of the Swedish Democrats in Mölndal, as he had been part of the Nazi party (NRP) during the 1980s as well as stated that “they were not racist enough”.The party also currently have active Jewish members and it seems rather clear that they do not have an agenda similar to the Nazi's.
The party does, however, oppose liberal-supported issues such as gay marriage, gay adoption, abortion and immigration. Furthermore, according to Niklas Orrenius, political journalist from Sydsvenskan the Swedish Democrats want to ban all import of kosher (as well as halal) slaughtered meat.
More frightening is that a true Nazi party in fact gained popularity in the municipality of Grästorp (closely located to Göteborg, Sweden’s second-largest city) and even managed to get mandates in the municipal council. The introduction of a Nazi party in an elected community is the first since 1940. The party is called Svenskarnas Parti (The Swede’s Party) and yesterday it received 102 votes and 2.8% of the votes in Grästorp’s municipality. This consequently also meant that they gained one mandate in the municipal council . Until recently the party was known as “Nationalsocialistisk front” (National Socialistic Front) and it was known as a primarily immigrant-hostile party which include convicted Nazis among its active representatives.
It is not yet sure whether or not Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld will be able to bring together a new government in Sweden. Sweden Israel and the Jews will continue to monitor the Swedish elections and bring the non-Swedish speaking world updates concerning the final outcomes.