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Swedish Election Campaign Nears End

Published torsdag 14 september 2006 kl 14.26

Campaigning here in Sweden is running into the final days before Sunday’s election – with Swedish Social Democratic Prime Minister Göran Persson saying that if he remains in power, he will encourage the state power company to set an example by becoming more environmentally friendly – and to lower electricity prices at least for the energy-consuming basic, heavy industries.

This is to meet criticism that Sweden’s electricity prices are too high and that some Swedish companies have threatened to move out of the country because of this.

Meanwhile, the 4-party, non-socialist Alliance hoping to win the elections has appeared jointly in a last-minute television appearance – repeating their rejection of any of them working together with a future minority social democratic government.

The Moderates, the Liberals, the Center Party and the Christian Democrats have made large compromises in order to present an allied front and convince voters that can create a viable coalition government if they win the most votes on Sunday.

The Liberal Party leaders renewed his determination to see a power shift – and blasted what he warned would be a frightening scene – a future coalition government with the ruling Social Democrats its so-far informal allies – the opposition Greens and the Left Party – who have been asking for ministerial posts in a future government.

Responding to criticism of being too religiously exclusive the Christian Democratic Party leader insists that many Moslems in Sweden support his party and its views on family values.

Earlier, one of the small and brand new opposition parties – the Feminist Initiative – has come out condemning the alliance and refusing to give it any support for what it calls giving into to Christian Democratic family policies – that is providing subsidies to women staying home with small children.

The Initiative argues that this would reverse the gains women have been making on the labor market.

And the Swedish media has been concentrating on special courses given to the Moderate campaign informants – to make sure the party avoids the blistering criticism it received in the last election campaign where a television news crew secretly recorded racist and anti-immigrant comments among some Moderates.

This is blamed for costing the Moderates many votes last time – and torpedoing THAT effort to oust the ruling Social Democrats from power.

On the sidelines of the major campaigns, 3 anti-immigrant parties are continuing their intensive campaigning – calling for a limit to immigration and sending refugees and immigrants already here back to their former homelands. These parties are hoping to win a record number of local and regional government seats.

Criticizing the lack of campaign debate over children’s issues, the Swedish Save the Children organization has set up its own election campaign cabins in squares and on street corners – handing out information on legislation concerning children, bullying, child abuse and other questions.

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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