Names floated for next Moderate Party leader

2:05 min

The first nomination for a new Moderate Party leader has been submitted, after Anna Kinberg Batra said on Friday that she is stepping down.

The Moderate Party’s regional section in Norrbotten, northern Sweden has nominated the party’s economic policy spokesperson Ulf Kristersson as a contender for the party’s top post.

The nomination comes just days after current party leader, Anna Kinberg Batra, announced that she will be stepping down in October. Her resignation followed growing disgruntlement within the party, with party members publicly calling for Kinberg Batra to go.

It was over the weekend that Moderate Party members in Norrbotten decided to nominate Kristersson, who was Sweden’s minister for social security between 2010 and 2014. "The next party leader needs to be able to lead the work to reinstall the faith in Moderate party policies. That person needs to be known within the party and to the public,” the Norbotten regional board said in a press statement.

Meanwhile, Sweden’s former defence minister Mikael Odenberg has also said that he is interested in the party leadership position, should the nominating committee want to propose him. Odenberg wrote on Facebook: "I think I can offer the leadership and the clarity that the party now needs." He said it was a “sense of duty” that led him to put his name forward.

Odenberg was the first minister for defence in the former, centre-right, government led by Fredrik Reinfeldt. After only a year in office, he resigned in protest against the budget cuts in defence spending that his own government and own party proposed and later carried out.

Moderate Party members have until September 12th to nominate candidates for the leadership post and the next party leader will be elected at an extra congress in October. Until then, Kinberg Batra is still in charge, though she went abroad on holiday straight after announcing her resignation on Friday.

The next general election will be held in September 2018.