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Persson Cabinet

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Göran Persson's cabinet
Flag of Sweden.svg
51st cabinet of Sweden
Goran persson swedish pm election rally 2006-sept-05 gothenburg closeup img1.jpg
Date formed22 March 1996
Date dissolved6 October 2006
People and organisations
Head of stateCarl XVI Gustaf
Head of governmentGöran Persson
Member partySocial Democrats
Status in legislatureSingle-party minority government
History
Election(s)1998 election
2002 election
PredecessorIngvar Carlsson's Third Cabinet
SuccessorReinfeldt's Cabinet
Coat of arms of Sweden.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Sweden
Foreign relations

Göran Persson served as Prime Minister of Sweden between 22 March 1996 and 6 October 2006. Persson took over after Ingvar Carlsson, who retired as party leader and Prime Minister. Following the 2006 general election, he and the Persson Cabinet (Swedish: Regeringen Persson) lost power to a centre-right coalition government.

History[edit]

When Ingvar Carlsson in the fall of 1995 declared that he intended to resign as leader for the Social Democratic Party and prime minister of Sweden, deputy prime minister Mona Sahlin was the only one who accepted to run for that position. However, a scandal mainly concerning irresponsible use of her Riksdag credit card and unpaid parking tickets forced her to withdraw her candidacy that same fall. The search continued and Jan Nyman, Ingela Thalén as well as Göran Persson became the new possible candidates, but all of them declined to run when approached by the election board.

After repeatedly declining to candidate Göran Persson suddenly changed his mind, accepted and was elected new leader of the Social Democratic Party and prime minister of Sweden in March 1996. Göran Persson inherited a party with a solid representation in the parliament, in the 1994 election more than 45 percent of the voters had given his predecessor their vote. Still not leading a party with a majority of the seats in the parliament, Göran Persson relied on parliamentary support from the Centre Party when outlining his politics. He launched a series of criticized cut-back programs, defending them in a famous speech to the parliament starting with the expression "One who is in debt is not free".

He did not manage to convince the voters however and the 1998 general election became a huge setback for the Social Democratic Party, now supported by only 36,4 percent of the voters. The Moderate party leader, Carl Bildt, expressed his concerns about Göran Persson not resigning from office, as an outcome of the election. Bildt claimed that the government forming process should start all over with the Speaker of parliament selecting a prime minister based on his or her ability to form a government. He initiated a vote of no confidence, opposed by a majority formed by the Social Democratic Party as well as the Green and Left parties which were to be the new political partners. Eventually Göran Persson formed a one-party government, refusing to give seats to the Left or Green parties.

In the 2002 general election Persson gained an increase in voter support with 39,9 percent voting for his party, again the Moderate Party leader, this time Bo Lundgren, initiated a vote of no confidence targeting the whereabouts of the actual parliamentary support for Persson. This time Persson was not backed by the Green Party, received support from a minority but managed to stay in office since the Green Party refrained from voting at all. He continued his one-party government policy, but extended his co-operation with the Green and Left parties for another four-year term.

Cabinet ministers[edit]

Portfolio Minister Took office Left office Party
Prime Minister's Office
Prime Minister Göran Persson22 March 19966 October 2006Social Democratic
Deputy Prime Minister Lena Hjelm-Wallén7 October 199821 October 2002Social Democratic
 Margareta Winberg21 October 200231 October 2003Social Democratic
 Lars Engqvist1 June 20041 October 2004Social Democratic
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sports Bosse Ringholm1 November 20046 October 2006Social Democratic
Minister for Government Coordination Leif Pagrotsky19961997Social Democratic
 Thage G. Peterson19971998Social Democratic
 Pär Nuder21 October 200221 October 2004Social Democratic
Minister for Government Coordination on European Affairs Bosse Ringholm1 January 20056 October 2006Social Democratic
Minister for Arms Exports Issues Leif Pagrotsky19961997Social Democratic
Ministry of Justice
Minister for Justice Laila Freivalds7 October 199421 september 2000Social Democratic
 Lena Hjelm-Wallén (Acting)21 September 200016 October 2000Social Democratic
 Thomas Bodström16 October 20006 October 2006Social Democratic
Minister for Democracy, Minister for Consumer Protection
and Deputy Minister of Justice
 Britta Lejon19982000Social Democratic
Minister for Democracy, Minister for Consumer Protection,
Minister for Youth and Deputy Minister of Justice
 Britta Lejon200015 October 2002Social Democratic
Minister for Democracy, Minister for Integration,
Minister for Gender Equality and Minister for Sports
 Mona Sahlin21 October 200221 October 2004Social Democratic
Minister for Democracy, Minister for Integration,
Minister for Gender Equality and Deputy Minister of Justice
 Jens Orback21 October 20046 October 2006Social Democratic
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Minister for Foreign Affairs Lena Hjelm-Wallén7 October 19947 October 1998Social Democratic
 Anna Lindh7 October 199411 September 2003†Social Democratic
 Jan O. Karlsson (Acting)11 September 200310 October 2003Social Democratic
 Laila Freivalds10 October 200321 March 2006Social Democratic
 Bo Ringholm (Acting)21 March 200627 March 2006Social Democratic
 Carin Jämtin (Acting)27 March 200624 April 2006Social Democratic
 Jan Eliasson24 April 20066 October 2006Social Democratic
Minister for International Development Cooperation Pierre Schori7 October 199414 September 1999Social Democratic
 Maj-Inger Klingvall14 September 199916 November 2001Social Democratic
 Jan O. Karlsson7 January 200210 October 2003Social Democratic
 Carin Jämtin10 October 20036 October 2006Social Democratic
Minister for Migration Pierre Schori199614 September 1999Social Democratic
 Maj-Inger Klingvall14 September 199916 November 2001Social Democratic
 Jan O. Karlsson7 January 200210 October 2003Social Democratic
 Barbro Holmberg10 October 20036 October 2006Social Democratic
Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Minister for Foreign Trade Leif Pagrotsky7 October 199421 October 2002Social Democratic
Ministry of Defence
Minister for Defence Thage G. Peterson7 October 19941 February 1997Social Democratic
 Björn von Sydow1 February 199730 September 2002Social Democratic
 Lena Hjelm-Wallén30 September 200221 October 2002Social Democratic
 Pär Nuder21 October 20023 November 2002Social Democratic
 Leni Björklund3 November 20026 October 2006Social Democratic
Ministry of Health and Social Affairs
Head of the Ministry for Health and Social Affairs Margot Wallström22 March 19961998Social Democratic
 Anders Sundström19981998Social Democratic
 Maj-Inger Klingvall (Acting)19981998Social Democratic
 Lars Engqvist19981 October 2004Social Democratic
 Berit Andnor1 October 20046 October 2006Social Democratic
Minister for Social Security Maj-Inger Klingvall22 March 199614 September 1999Social Democratic
 Ingela Thalén14 September 199910 October 2002Social Democratic
Minister for Public Health and Social Services Morgan Johansson21 October 20026 October 2006Social Democratic
Minister for Children and Family Berit Andnor21 October 20022004Social Democratic
Minister for Health and the Elderly Ylva Johansson20046 October 2006Social Democratic
Minister for Nordic Cooperation Berit Andnor21 October 20026 October 2006Social Democratic
Minister for Communications
Minister for Communications Ines Uusmann7 October 19946 October 1998Social Democratic
 Björn Rosengren (Acting)6 October 199431 December 1998Social Democratic
Ministry of Finance
Minister for Finance Erik Åsbrink22 March 199612 April 1999Social Democratic
 Bosse Ringholm12 April 199921 October 2004Social Democratic
 Pär Nuder21 October 20046 October 2006Social Democratic
Minister for Taxes and Minister for Housing Thomas Östros22 March 19961998Social Democratic
Minister for Public Administration and Minister for Housing Lars Engqvist19981998Social Democratic
Minister for Public Administration and Minister for Housing Lars-Erik Lövdén199921 October 2004Social Democratic
Minister for Financial Markets and Minister for International Economy Gunnar Lund21 October 20022004Social Democratic
Minister for Financial Markets and Minister for Public Administration Sven-Erik Österberg21 October 20046 October 2006Social Democratic
Ministry of Education
Minister for Education Carl Tham7 October 19941998Social Democratic
 Thomas Östros199821 October 2004Social Democratic
 Leif Pagrotsky21 October 20046 October 2006Social Democratic
Minister for Culture Leif Pagrotsky1 January 20056 October 2006Social Democratic
Minister for Schools Ylva Johansson7 October 19941998Social Democratic
 Ingegerd Wärnersson199816 January 2002Social Democratic
 Thomas Östros16 January 200221 October 2004Social Democratic
Minister for Schools Ibrahim Baylan21 October 20046 October 2006Social Democratic
Minister for Research Leif Pagrotsky13 September 20046 October 2006Social Democratic
Minister for Preschool Education, Minister for Adult Education
and Minister for Youth
 Lena Hallengren21 October 20026 October 2006Social Democratic
Minister for Church Affairs Lena Hallengren13 September 20046 October 2006Social Democratic
Ministry of Agriculture
Ministry of Agriculture Annika Åhnberg19961998Social Democratic
Ministry of Agriculture and Minister for Gender Equality Margareta Winberg199821 October 2002Social Democratic
Ministry of Agriculture and Minister for Consumer Protection Ann-Christin Nykvist21 October 20026 October 2006Social Democratic
Ministry of Employment[1]
Minister of Employment and Minister for Nordic Cooperation Margareta Winberg19961998Social Democratic
 Björn Rosengren (Acting)19981998Social Democratic
Minister of Employment and Minister for Gender Equality Ulrica Messing19961998Social Democratic
Ministry of the Interior[1]
Minister of the Interior Jörgen Andersson19961998Social Democratic
 Lars Engqvist (Acting)19981998Social Democratic
 Lars-Erik Lövdén19981998Social Democratic
Minister for Integration, Minister for Sports, Minister for Youth
and Minister for Consumer Protection
 Leif Blomberg19962 March 1998†Social Democratic
 Lars Engqvist19981998Social Democratic
Ministry for Culture
Minister for Culture Marita Ulvskog199613 September 2004Social Democratic
 Pär Nuder (Acting)13 September 200421 October 2004Social Democratic
 Leif Pagrotsky21 October 200431 December 2004Social Democratic
Minister for Church Affairs Marita Ulvskog199613 September 2004Social Democratic
Minister for Integration, Minister for Sports and Minister for Youth Ulrica Messing19982000Social Democratic
Ministry of the Environment
Minister of the Environment Anna Lindh7 October 19947 October 1998Social Democratic
 Kjell Larsson7 October 199815 October 2002Social Democratic
 Lena Sommestad15 October 20026 October 2006Social Democratic
Minister of the Environment, Minister for Housing and Minister for Energy Mona Sahlin21 October 20026 October 2006Social Democratic
Deputy Minister of the Environmenτ Lena Sommestad16 January 200221 October 2002Social Democratic


Policies of the Cabinet[edit]

Controversies and public perception[edit]

Suspected ballot rigging[edit]

After the 2002 elections, electoral workers in the Stockholm area expressed concerns about how Social Democratic campaign workers had collected large amounts of voting cards from voters and voted on their behalf. To collect large amounts of voting cards and vote in such a way is unconstitutional and therefore gained some initial media attention. The county and city of Stockholm, governed by a coalition led by the Moderate Party, became subject to change of leadership as a result of the election and the criticism was quickly silenced. The circumstances of the suspected ballot rigging was never investigated. There have been other cases that have led to evictions at 2002 elections for ballot rigging by Social democratic party members working in the election offices. Many reports of other ballot rigging have also been announced throughout the country by other parties but in lack of proof none has gone to court.

Handling of the tsunami disaster[edit]

During 2005 a scandal erupted as a result of widespread discontent with the lack of government aid to Swedes who fell victims to the notorious tsunami disaster, killing hundreds of Swedish tourists in December 2004. The criticism emerged early since the government refused to give clearance to prepared Swedish military rescue planes to aid in the rescue efforts in Asia. The planes were left stranded on Swedish airfields and Swedish tourists, in many cases severely injured, had to wait for the few crowded regular flights that were available back home to Sweden. A committee initiated an investigation in 2005 to shed some light on what really happened during the Christmas of 2004 and if anyone ever had noticed the early reports from the Swedish military intelligence offices. The scandal escalated into a case for the Swedish standing committee of constitution inqueries (constitutional court) as it became evident that Swedish government officials either lied or refused to answer properly to the questions asked by the investigators. In early 2006 the scandal reached its climax as top ministers, including the prime minister, were interrogated under trial-like circumstances broadcast live on Swedish television. There has also been suspicious deletion of communication traffic registers and e-mails regarding the time of this event. A directive was changed to delete this kind of data after a shorter time and after it had been done the directive was once again revised to its original writing. After the election and a new cabinet come to be in power. Backup tapes of the deleted information has now been found stored in a vault in the cellar.

Persson accused of threatening TV4[edit]

During the live broadcast interrogations the CEO of the largest privately held Swedish TV-channel, Jan Scherman, claimed that Prime Minister Göran Persson threatened him during the election campaign in 2002. According to Mr. Scherman, Persson said that "TV4 is investing heavy in a non-socialistic election victory",[citation needed] if the socialists wins you "will have a lots of enemies in Rosenbad".[citation needed] The claims never gained as much public interest as did the other scandals, even though the accusations enhanced the image of Mr. Persson trying to gain control of the major free media companies. In Sweden, the Swedish Television, SVT, with the other two large TV-channels, SVT1 and SVT2, is connected to the government and Social Democrats hold key positions among the board of directors. Björn Rosengren, Social Democrat, former Minister of Enterprise and close friend of Göran Persson, has rapidly gained an influential position in the Swedish media company MTG which in turn owns TV-channels and newspapers such as Metro International.

Defamation campaign in 2006[edit]

In 2006 an extensive e-mail based defamation campaign primarily targeting the family of Swedish leading opposition politician Fredrik Reinfeldt was revealed in Swedish media. The content of the letters written were rumours about irregularities or illegal actions claimed to have been performed by Fredrik Reinfeldt himself or his close relatives. According to computer specialists the source of the campaign had been tracked down to computers located at the Social Democratic HQ in central Stockholm. Initially spokespersons of the Social Democratic Party denied all involvement in the defamation but were later forced to confess that one of their employees had written the letters as evidence became overwhelming. The case was reported to the police by the Moderate Party but was closed a few days later since it was considered a private law-issue.

The Pirate Bay affair[edit]

The raid of 31 May 2006 on The Pirate Bay ISP PRQ is thought to be a direct result of the justice minister Thomas Bodström. As a result, he is now the subject of an investigation by the Constitutional Committee. This type of 'interference' in the functioning of independent authorities such as the police, called 'ministerstyre', is by Swedish law prohibited. Media requested to see e-mails that could be relevant to the matter but the 700 of the 900 e-mails requested were denied on the basis that they were top secret declaration. Previously, the government said that the matter would be open for public review. When it was asked why the e-mails had been declared top secret Thomas Bodström said that they were covered by the secrecy declaration which is determined by the government.

Minister of foreign affairs resigns[edit]

In the aftermaths of criticism following on the tsunami disaster, the harshly criticised Swedish minister of foreign affairs, Laila Freivalds, managed to maintain her office. However, in 2006 another embarrassing scandal erupted with its roots in Denmark where paintings of the Muslim prophet Muhammed were published during the fall of 2005. A Swedish right-wing political newspaper decided to publish them as well on the Internet edition of their publication, the webpage however was quickly closed down by the ISP after intervention from the Swedish Security Service and the Swedish office of foreign affairs. The close down became subject to much debate and some journalists compared it to the censorship of anti-German articles during WWII. Mrs. Freivalds denied at first all involvement in the case, but was forced to confess as official reports clearly pointed out her central role in the closing of the webpage. The political pressure became too much and Prime Minister Göran Persson, flanked by Mrs. Freivalds herself, chose to briefly declare the resignation of his minister of foreign affairs under a short press conference. That Freivalds did not declare the expected news herself, despite the fact that she was obviously present on the press conference, quickly spurred discussions about whether she resigned voluntarily or actually got dismissed by the prime minister.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Contact the Ministry of the Environment". Retrieved 5 October 2014.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Third cabinet of Ingvar Carlsson
Cabinet of Sweden
1996-2006
Succeeded by
Cabinet of Fredrik Reinfeldt