Social Democrats Have Taken a "Bashing"
The centre-right Alliance for Sweden says that ”the Social Democrats’ image as a competent government has taken a bashing.”
The statement came after a parliamentary panel criticised Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson and five senior ministers for their slow response to the Asian tsunami.
The all-party committee said the Social Democratic Party leader ”bore overwhelming responsibility for the failings” in helping thousands of Swedes caught up in the deadly wave.
But the four-party opposition alliance favoured by polls to win September’s election ruled out a vote of no confidence in Persson, who has been prime minister for 10 years.
In a statement the alliance said that ”the Swedish people have a chance to show on election day on September 17 if they still have confidence in Persson.”
Opinion polls have put the Alliance ahead of the Social Democratic Party and its Left and Green allies for more than a year.
The tsunami, as well as stubborn unemployment, has weighed on Persson’s popularity, though his chances could be improved by the strong economy.