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Kaplan's resignation unlikely to cause gov't lasting damage

Published måndag 18 april 2016 kl 16.29
Tomas Ramberg: Government leaders didn't want an ongoing scandal
(4:35 min)
Swedish Radio's political commentator Tomas Ramberg and Housing and IT Minister Mehmet Kaplan of the Green Party. Photo: TT / Swedish Radio.
Swedish Radio's political commentator Tomas Ramberg and Housing and IT Minister Mehmet Kaplan of the Green Party. Photo: TT / Swedish Radio.

The resignation of Sweden's housing and IT minister on Monday likely won't have any long-term negative effects for the government of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, which is already bruised from several other political battles. That's according to Swedish Radio's political expert Tomas Ramberg.

Speaking with Radio Sweden, Ramberg said Mehmet's Kaplan's resignation wasn't surprising since the premier didn't want the scandal over his newly surfaced comments and actions to snowball and mire his government.

"This is not the debate they want to have going on day after day," Ramberg said.

A member of the Green Party, Kaplan fell victim to a two-pronged scandal over his 2009 comments that compared Israel's treatment of Palestinians to Nazi Germany's treatment of Jews in the 1930s as well as the minister's attendance at a dinner at which members of a Turkish extremist group were present.

Kaplan offered to step down after coming under fire from the political opposition and members of the Social Democrats, who govern in a coalition with the Greens.

Ramberg said it was likely Löfven and his party, the Social Democrats, had to convince the Green Party to drop Kaplan as a minister. He said the Green Party came out in support of Kaplan after it was first revealed that he dined with Turkish extremists whereas Löfven issued a stern statement expressing his disappointment.

Ramberg went on to say that the scandal could trigger an internal debate within the Green Party but said both parties have bigger things to worry about. The Social Democrats and Greens have fared poorly in the polls with the general public and their members over their handling of Sweden's migration and foreign policy. He doubted that Kaplan's fall from grace would permanently tarnish the government.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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