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Monday, October 18, 2010

Swedish Skinheads Elected To Parliament

At 31, Jimmie Aakesson has already spent five years at the helm of the far-right Sweden Democrats, helping to catapult the party from an obscure movement with a neo-Nazi past and virtually no voter support to a polished populist group.
Now, with a 20-seat windfall in weekend polls, he has plunged the country into political chaos.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt pleaded for calm yesterday after being reelected at the head of a minority government.
“There is no need to use words like chaos,” Mr. Reinfeldt told reporters. Despite losing his parliamentary majority, Mr. Reinfeldt’s coalition pulled off a historic victory Sunday as the first right-leaning government to be re-elected in Sweden in nearly a century.

But the sudden successs of the Sweden Democrats — a party that now opts for a clean-cut look over skinheads and bomber jackets — has shocked the country. Thousands of people gathered in a central Stockholm square last night to protest, waving banners stating “Yes to togetherness, No to racism.”
Another demonstration broke out in Sweden’s second largest city, Gothenburg.
Mr. Aakesson pledged his party would act responsibly.

“We won’t cause problems. We will take responsibility. That is my promise to the Swedish people,” he told ecstatic supporters as near final results handed them 5.7% of the vote and their first seats in parliament.
“I am overwhelmed and it is hard to collect my thoughts. Today, we have written political history,” he said.
When Mr. Aakesson joined the Sweden Democrats in 1995 at the age of 15, “there were still members who showed up at meetings dressed in Nazi uniforms,” political scientist Sofia Nerbrand said recently.

Mr. Aakesson, with his slight build, dark hair and glasses, has helped radically change Swedes’ perception of the party.more
thank you MDS

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