Conservative Moderates: New Party Secretary

In a surprise announcement on Friday morning, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said that Per Schlingmann, the conservative Moderate Party’s secretary since 2006, will be moving on to another, not yet specified position, within the party.

Schlingmann is often referred to as a PR genius is one of the most influential architects behind the party’s development over the past few years, when the it has moved closer to the middle ground of Swedish politics.

He will be replaced by Sofia Arkelsten who has been in parliament since 2007 and the party’s spokesperson for climate and environmental issues.

During a press conference on Friday Reinfeldt said that the change was part of the continued renewal process which he hopes will ensure victory in the next election scheduled for 2014.

“Every new election, the day after you must ask yourself: How will I win the next election? … I think this is part of the renewal of the moderate party that we need to deepen and she is the right person to do it.”

Meeting the media for the first time in her new role as party secretary Arkelsten said she was hopeful she could help renew the party’s policies especially when it comes to the environment.

“Sorting out the economic policies is the most important; it is the base for doing all other things. But if I have to chose three issues I would choose climate and environmental issues, the young Sweden and employment is the third.”