Swedish socialist leader Juholt resigns
What looked bad almost from the start has now come to a crashing end: Håkan Juholt has resigned less than a year after being elected leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party. Juholt’s support came tumbling down after he had to repay a housing allowance.
“I have made mistakes as party chairman,” he said at a televised press conference in his hometown of Oskarshamn. “I don’t want to stand in the way for the fresh start that the Social Democrats and Sweden need.” Juholt faced a wave of criticism inside and outside his party after he admitted in October that he erroneously claimed a full housing allowance to keep an apartment in Stockholm in addition to his home in Oskarshamn, when he was only entitled to half because he shares the flat with his partner. Juholt agreed to repay 160,000 SEK ($23,600) to parliament. Swedish newspapers have documented all of Juholt’s missteps, and this has also led to discussions about media’s involvement in the affair. Meanwhile, the support for the Social Democrats, which for decades was Sweden’s biggest party, fell to 25.4 percent last month in a survey of voters, while support for the Moderate Party grew to 34.4 percent.