New Post of Swedish Ambassador to Thailand under Criticism

As expected by the media, Jonas Hafstrom has been named by the government as the new Swedish ambassador to the USA without going through a recruitment procedure.
Current Swedish ambassador to Thailand, Hafstrom has previously worked at the Swedish embassies in Tehran and Washington. He received praise from the Catastrophe Commission for his role in the rescue operation when Thailand was hit by the Tsunami in 2004.
“For one thing it is notable that they did not advertise the position and follow the relevant foreign office procedures. And one can also note that the appointment is in line with what they have done so far: there have been nothing but party colleagues,” said Berit Andnor, chairman of the parliamentary constitutional committee.
Moderate member of parliament Per Bill responded later in the day by pointing out that Dan Eliasson, appointed as new director general of the Migration Board on Thursday morning, is a member of Andnor’s own party.
“The appointments of Dan Eliasson and Jonas Hafström show that the centre-right government, unlike the previous Social Democrat government, is not in the business of the political appointment of party colleagues,” he said in a statement. But Social Democrat Peter Hultqvist was quick to remind the government that it had vowed to do away with the current appointment system.
“Clearly they are not following their own guidelines. It is pure hypocrisy to rail against our appointments during the election campaign and then do exactly the same thing themselves,” he said.

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