Reinfeldt Condemns Election Fraud Case

Updated 6:30 PM

Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, condemned a case of election fraud in his own political party, the centre-right Moderates, amid reports that more cases are being investigated.

“The important thing is that we show we are reacting to this breach of regulations and to this case where the person has withdrawn,” Prime Minister Reinfeldt told Swedish Radio News on Monday. “It’s important that we show voters that we do not accept infringements of the regulation and that we check if there are other examples of this.”

Mats Rudin, a local councilor in Stockholm, was forced to withdraw his bid to be a candidate in this year’s general election, following revelations that he paid the membership fees for several new party members whom he enrolled.

If his bid had been successful he would have appeared in the eighth position on the party list, virtually guaranteeing him a seat in the Swedish parliament. Apart from breaking the party’s internal rules, Rudin opened himself up for allegations of vote buying, as party members help to nominate candidates to the voting lists.

According to news agency TT, the Moderates have hired the accounting firm Ernst & Young to investigate if the circa 500 new members from the Stockholm area paid their own membership fees. Paying someone else’s fee is strictly against the rules in the Moderate Party, though it is permissible in the Green Party.

Reports made by tabloid Expressen that other Moderates had engaged in vote buying were vigorously denied by those politicians mentioned. One such representative issued a public reaction on his website: “I have not cheated! It’s really an absurd assertion that Expressen is spreading because I have not recruited one single member in 2009. And I’m ashamed about that.”

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