Hägglund was looking back at his eight years at the helm during the party’s local government conference in Örebro Sunday. He pointed out to the 800 party activists present the situation of children and young people, mental health, and integration as especially important issues.
“It got very emotional, I feel it,” Hägglund told journalists afterwards.
He said he regrets the party’s current low voter support, and that he admits he failed to change the party’s profile. He says that will be a job for the new leader:
“You have to remove some obstacles,” Hägglund said. “Because some people think you have to be an active church-goer to be a Christian Democrat. But we have to show that everyone who likes the values the party is based on, just as with the CDU/CSU in Germany, naturally should vote Christian Democrat.”
According to Swedish Radio’s National News Commentator Tomas Ramberg, Hägglund’s admonition against scaring away potential supporters might be seen as a hidden message against one of candidates to succeed him, local city councilor Ebba Busch Thor, who is seen as belonging to the social conservative wing of the party.
The new party leader will be picked at a party conference on April 25th.