The World Today for September 09, 2022

NEED TO KNOW

If You Can’t Beat Them…

SWEDEN

A local politician in Sweden, Saida Hussein Moge, recently quit the ruling Social Democratic party after Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said she didn’t want Chinatowns, Somalitowns or Little Italys in the Nordic country. Moge is ethnically Somali.

“The Social Democrats no longer stand for the values ​​and principles that I believe in,” Moge wrote on Facebook, according to the Anadolu Agency, a Turkish state-owned news outlet. “The Social Democrats are (moving) further (away) from their roots and are increasingly approaching right-wing politics, while they have become a more xenophobic party.”

The scandal erupted less than two weeks before Swedish voters are slated to go to the polls on Sept. 11 to elect a new parliament.

Moge wasn’t necessarily imagining things. A new political landscape has taken hold in Sweden, explained Voice of America. After years of accepting migrants from the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere since 2015 – without background checks – Swedes are wondering if they should stop being so welcoming. The result has been increased polarization as the left and the right square off before the vote.

The leader of the Swedish Democrats, Jimmie Akesson, who admits that his political party’s roots are in neo-Nazism, is happy with the changing political landscape, the Associated Press reported. Akesson and his allies want to change society. Using immigration as a wedge issue has done the job, he said.

A decade ago, a major party wouldn’t have dreamed of partnering with the Swedish Democrats. But the opposition Liberal and the Moderate parties are likely to form a coalition with them if they would sweep Andersson and the Social Democrats out of power.

The far-right says that immigration has strained Swedish society. Shootings and murders have risen in the country, with a noted prevalence in poor, immigrant neighborhoods, Reuters wrote. Out of 22 European countries, Sweden has had the second-most gun deaths per capita in the last four years compared with 20 years ago, when it was among those countries suffering the least amount of gun violence.

Polls indicate that, while the Social Democrats will win the largest share of the vote, a coalition of rivals could unseat them if they managed to win as expected and put aside their differences.

Social Democrats hope the personal popularity of Andersson, the country’s first female prime minister, will win the day, the Financial Times reported. Late last year, Andersson became prime minister, then resigned when she couldn’t assemble sufficient votes for her budget, and then became prime minister seven hours later after another vote, the BBC wrote.

Moge doesn’t like Andersson’s new tactics. She won’t like the alternative much better.

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