Ulf Kristersson joins Moderate Party leader race

Ulf Kristersson, the current Moderate Party economic-policy spokesperson, has announced his candidacy to become the new party leader.

“I am prepared to lead a party that will win in the 2018 election and that will be part of a better government for Sweden,” Kristersson wrote in a Facebook post.

“I am driven more by hope than by fear. I want joy, curiosity, and optimism about the future to characterize Swedish politics," he continued.

Four counties have officially nominated Kristersson for the position: Dalarna, Västerbotten, Norrbotten, and Södermanland.

Kristersson was among the names floated early after current Moderate Party leader Anna Kinberg Batra announced her resignation last week. He was the welfare minister under the previous centre-right government and has served as the economic-policy spokesperson for the party since the 2014 election, when a centre-left coalition took over power.

Moderate Party MP Elisabeth Svantesson has been pointed out as a favourite but today she put her weight behind Kristersson. In a Facebook post, Svantesson wrote that she believes he is best suited to lead the party and to restore confidence in its politics.

Mikael Odenberg, Sweden's former defense minister and the only other candidate in the party leader race, said it is good that Kristersson announced his candidacy.

“If there are any other candidates, I hope they will also come forward and declare,” he told news agency TT.

The new Moderate leader will be elected on October 1st.