The out-going Ambassador of Sweden, Mr Rolf Bergman recently cast his vote at the Embassy in Hanoi to fulfil his right to vote in the General Elections in Sweden. He said after his voting: “The right to vote is an important fundamental right of all Swedish citizens who have reached the age of 18. Today, I voted for the party who will represent me at the Parliament, the Municipal Council and the County Council.”
Parliamentary elections in Sweden are held every four years, on the third Sunday of September. All Swedish citizens who have reached the age of 18 by election day and who are or have been resident in Sweden are entitled to vote. Most of the people vote on the actual election day at a polling station. Most Swedes living abroad are also entitled to vote at a Swedish Embassy or by post.
The 2010 Election Day will be on 19 September. However, the Embassy of Sweden in Hanoi and the Swedish Consulate General in HCM City are now open for all Swedish citizens working and living in Vietnam to come and exercise their right.
Seven parties are represented in the Parliament of Sweden, the Riksdag in the current term of office (2006 – 2010). However, many more parties want to get in. In order to be represented in the Riksdag, a party needs to receive more than 4% of the votes in the parliamentary election.
Running in this year’s election campaign are two coalitions. The four centre-right parties (the Moderates, the Liberals, the Centre Party and the Christian Democrats) which form the present Government, are now joining hands as a “Alliance” again in order to win more votes for another term of office. Meanwhile, this is the first time the Social Democrats has formed a coalition with the Green Party and the Left Party with an aim to win over the present Government.
During the election campaign, the two coalitions put forth different solutions and plans with focus on economy/taxation, unemployment issue and social welfare issues. The Government of the four centre-right party Alliance has cut down income taxes and promised an increase in employment. The Social Democrats – led opposition has promised more spending on welfare, balanced by tax rises. Analysis said that the coming elections will be closely fought.
Three years ago, a number of public polls showed that the Government did not have the same support from the public as they got in the 2006 Election. However, findings from public polls conducted in the past six months indicate that the present Government will stay. “It takes time for the Government to make changes. The Swedish people now see positive outcomes of the policies of the government. At this moment, the Government is more popular than the opposition.”, according to comments in several Swedish newspapers.
The Ambassador also quotes analysis presented in Sweden that the election, whoever wins, will be very close.