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Top Speaker Candidate Pulls Out

Social Democrat Björn von Sydow

Top Social Democrat candidate for the post of speaker in the new parliament, Björn von Sydow says he won't now stand in the election. Von Sydow, who as an MP for the largest party in parliament would be a strong candidate, says he doesn't want to become a speaker with the support of the Sweden Democrats.

The decision about who becomes the new speaker could be the minority centre-right government's first big battle in parliament, if the red-green opposition and Sweden Democrats vote against their candidate, current speaker conservative Moderate Per Westerberg.

The Sweden Democrats say they will demand one of the deputy speaker posts in exchange for their votes.

Commenting on his decision not to stand, former minister Björn von Sydow says the Speaker should stand up for democratic values, and that he doesn't want to do that with the support of the Sweden Democrats, because they have different views on human rights and equal opportunities than he does, he told news agency TT.

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