SWEDISH voters will go to the polls next month and for the first time ever internation observers have been called in to monitor the vote as support for an anti-EU party grows.
By – Lila Randall
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will send two people to oversee the vote.
The observers will focus on issues such as how the parties’ election campaigns have been financed and whether the secret ballot is guaranteed by making sure the papers are hidden from public view.
They will also ensure the voting system runs smoothly by keeping ballot papers for all parties topped up in each voting location.
Thomas Rymer, a spokesperson for OSCE, told Sveriges Radio: ”This is the first time we have had any form of mission or observation activity in Sweden for an election.”
In 2010 a working group ruled out sending observers to Sweden but after another evaluation this year, the OSCE changed its plan.
However, Mr Rymer warned that the organisation’s presence in Sweden should not be “dramatised”, adding: “There are no perfect elections.”
It is not unusual for the OSCE to send observers to monitor elections, with observers sent to the recent German, Austrian and Italian votes.
The general election is scheduled for September 9 and the latest poll carried out on 17 August by Ipsos showed the Social Democrats are favoured with 24.9 percent of the 1,883 people that voted opting for the party.
The Eurosceptic Sweden Democrats has 19 percent of votes pushing it ahead of The Moderate Party at 17.7 percent, which dropped dramatically from 19.4 percent on August 16.
Earlier this month the party was trailing behind with 16.8 percent of the 2494 that voted backing the Sweden Democrats, according to Poll of Polls.
It looks increasingly likely that the Sweden Democrats will become the country’s second most popular party after gaining support in its campaign focusing on refugees and migrants, most likely a response linked to immigration issues in Europe over the last few years.
In the 2014 elections the party became the third force in Swedish parliament and the rise of the popularist party can be attributed to economic instability and cultural instability, according to Malmo University.
Stefan Löfven, a Social Democrat, has held the position of prime minister since 2014.
The Social Democrats are losing voters compared to four years ago when it entered into a coalition with the Green Party with 31 percent of the vote.
Read more: From 2018/08/15