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.”