Jimmie Åkesson’s future plans? 2023

This year, kesson will not speak at Sweden’s annual political festival, Almedalen Week, the party announced last week.

The leader of the far-right told the Sweden Democrats’ communication channel Riks that he would instead take an extended summer vacation, like many Swedes. It is common for Swedes to take at least four weeks off between June and August, and even politics tends to calm down during this period.

With the exception of Almedalen Week, the most important event on the annual political calendar. On a daily basis, one or two party leaders deliver a keynote address, and it is rare for them to forego this occasion to present their policies during prime time.

Exceptional, but not unprecedented.

Former Social Democrat leader and prime minister Stefan Lofven canceled his attendance at the festival in 2019 and 2021, and former Moderate leader and prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt did the same in 2007.

kesson’s absence after 18 years as leader of the Sweden Democrats raises doubts about his future intentions.

The news arrives after he was unusually silent following the September election, reappeared with a flurry of interviews in Swedish newspapers in the spring, and then announced a lengthy summer vacation.

kesson’s position is likely the safest of any party leader. In just a couple of decades, he led the Sweden Democrats from obscurity on the neo-Nazi periphery to becoming the country’s second largest party. If he wishes to remain, he is not imperiled.

But does he?

According to kesson, the Sweden Democrats will be represented at Almedalen Week by their new parliamentary group leader, Linda Lindberg, to help her establish her public profile.

Lindberg is the current director of the party’s women’s branch and could help increase the party’s popularity with women, or at the very least ameliorate its reputation as an all-boys club.

However, she is new and unknown at a gathering with a few notable guests. Mattias Karlsson, Henrik Vinge, Oscar Sjostedt, and Jessica Stegrud are commonly mentioned in leadership discussions.

Karlsson is frequently referred to as the intellectual force behind the party’s ideology, and he has previously filled in for kesson, but he has stated that he dislikes having such a senior position.

Former parliamentary group leader, former press spokesman, and current deputy party leader Vinge has been embroiled in a dispute with another party member.

Sjostedt is the party’s economic spokesperson, but he is also notorious for appearing in a video in which he retold anti-Semitic quips – an image the party is attempting to shed.

Stegrud, a former member of the European Parliament and current member of the Swedish parliament, accompanied kesson on his campaign visit leading up to the 2022 election. But is she sufficiently well-known to assume the leadership of the party?

In any case, the matter may be irrelevant. According to an article by a TV4 political correspondent, kesson is virtually a rookie compared to one of the Christian Democrats’ former party leaders, Alf Svensson, who served for more than three decades.

And kesson will not resign unless he is confident that his position can be replaced.

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