The former minister is high-profile in politics and the media

Bodström must choose between parliament and USA

The fate of one of Sweden's most, flamboyant, well known and controversial politicians was decided today.

Former minister, and son of a minister, Thomas Bodström, wanted leave so he could spend six months in the USA.

Now that the party leaders have said no - is this the end of an era for one of the big names of Swedish social democracy?

Until 2006 Thomas Bodström was minister for justice in the last Social Democrat government. Since then he has remained a member of parliament, but combined this with writing crime fiction and taking long trips to the USA

On Wednesday the group leaders for all the parties met with the speaker of the parliament, and decided not to grant him the leave of absence he wanted

Hans Linde is group leader for the Left party. He says that all the party group leaders worked well together to resolve this issue.

Will this damage the red-green cooperation?

"No, this is not a question of our red-green cooperation. We have a political cooperation between our three parties and this kind of issue is not part of that cooperation."

Inger Arenander is a political correspondent at Swedish radio news - she says that the Social Democrats will be disappointed.

"He had already been granted leave by the party leader, even though they might win the election, he had a replacement, so I think the party has been very liberal."

And we can now say that Thomas Bodström has commented - he says it's a tough choice and he'll say whether he chooses swedish politics, or the USA, on Monday

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