for Stockholm County
Mona Ingeborg Andersson
9 March 1957
|Political party||Social Democrats|
Mona Ingeborg Sahlin (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈmôːna saˈliːn] née Andersson born 9 March 1957) is a Swedish politician who was leader of the opposition and leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party from 2007 to 2011.
Sahlin was a
Youth and education
Sahlin was born Mona Ingeborg Andersson in Sollefteå, Västernorrland County, Sweden. Her father, Hans Andersson, worked at youth care schools community homes. In the mid-1960s, the family moved to Järla in Stockholm County where they remained. Her father later became an advisor to former Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson.
In 1964, at the age of seven, Sahlin founded the Swedish "Barbie Club". During her childhood, she also enjoyed soccer and music. Sahlin performed as one of the back up singers to Jan Malmsjö, in the selection for the song to represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 1969. The song was written by Benny Andersson and Lasse Berghagen and it came in second place.
Sahlin was educated at Nacka Samskola and Södra Latin in Stockholm and completed secondary school in 1977. From 1976 to 1977, she was vice chairperson of the Swedish Pupils' Association. Thereafter she worked at a private company and later as a trade union representative for the Swedish National Union of State Employees.
At age 13, Sahlin joined the Swedish support group for the Viet Cong. Sahlin's political career began in the
In October 1995, the newspaper Expressen following an investigation led by Christian Democratic Spanish-Swedish Public Auditor Carlos Medina de Rebolledo reported that Sahlin, who was then serving as Deputy Prime Minister and was widely seen as the main candidate to succeed Ingvar Carlsson as Prime Minister, had charged more than 50,000 Swedish kronor for private expenses on her working charge card, which was only for working expenses. At a news conference, she admitted that she had used a Government credit card to buy groceries. She further confessed to having failed to pay 19 parking tickets and several bills for her children's day care on time. Later, she apologized in a Stockholm newspaper. A preliminary investigation was initiated by the chief prosecutor Jan Danielsson, as a result of the transactions, and was closed in early 1996 when it came to the conclusion that there was no infringement. She eventually paid the bills (and an extra of 15,000 kronor) to the Treasury. The controversy was dubbed as the "Toblerone affair" due to the inclusion of Toblerone bars on the credit card statement.
Break from politics and return
From 1996 to 1997, Sahlin worked as a self-employed owner of a small company and as a television reporter. In 1997, she was elected chairman of the European Council Against Racism and in 1998 she became the head of the Social Democratic youth education school Bommersvik.
Sahlin returned to national politics in 1998 when then Prime Minister
Social Democratic Party leadership
After the Social Democratic defeat in the 2006 election, Göran Persson announced his retirement as party leader on the election night. Mona Sahlin was mentioned as a possible successor, but not considered to be the most likely candidate. Both Margot Wallström and Carin Jämtin received stronger support amongst local and regional party organisations. Ulrica Messing was also mentioned as a possible candidate. Wallström, Jämtin and Messing declared however that they would not stand for the post and instead supported Sahlin, leaving Mona Sahlin as the only serious candidate. On 18 January, she was officially asked by the party's Election Committee to stand as party leader, and accepted. On 17 March, she was unanimously elected at the extra party congress in Stockholm.
In January 2007, support for the new
Mona Sahlin is often described as a scion of the party's more moderate members, and a number of left-wing party members criticised her candidacy for party leader. Much of this criticism was silenced in January 2007 when the chairman of the Trade Union Confederation, Wanja Lundby-Wedin, expressed full support for Sahlin as well as several powerful party districts around the country. One of her key initiatives was the formation of the Red-Green alliance between the Social Democrats and the Green Party to counter the move to pare back the social welfare system and privatize state-owned assets.
In the election to the European Parliament held on 7 June 2009 – Sahlin's first election as party leader – the Social Democratic Party received 24.41 percent of the votes (a slight reduction from the 2004 election in which the party received 24.56 percent). The result was the lowest for the Social Democratic Party since the introduction of universal suffrage in Sweden in 1921. In a speech before trade unionists during the election campaign on 12 May 2009, Sahlin said: "If there's not a plus in front of our figures it's a deep failure".
She led the Social Democratic Party in the election of September 2010 where she failed to unseat Fredrik Reinfeldt as Prime Minister. The Social Democrats received the lowest recorded percentage of the votes in their history but were still the largest party in Sweden by a slim margin in 2010. She resigned as party leader on 25 March 2011, becoming the second Social Democratic Party leader to have resigned without having served as prime minister.
Speaking in 2005 at a Swedish mosque, Sahlin said that "many Swedes are envious of immigrants because they have a culture, a history, something that binds them together. Swedes have only Midsummer Night and such silly things." Karen Jespersen, a former Minister of Integration in Denmark, commented: Cultural self-denial cannot easily be more monstrous and ghastly." After the terrorist action in Brussels in March 2016, Sahlin, who was then serving as national coordinator against violent extremism, maintained in an op-ed that such atrocities were the fault not only of the terrorists themselves but of critics of Islam whose remarks in online chat rooms, in comments fields, and on social media "give the extremists their nourishment." Commentator Jenny Sonesson called for her to be dismissed from her position, saying that she "knows nothing about Islam." Writing in Expressen, Sakine Madon also criticized Sahlin for her refusal to address the reality of jihadism.
On 5 May 2016, Sahlin stepped down from her position as Sweden's national coordinator against violence-embracing extremism, due to revelations by the newspaper Expressen that she had lied about her bodyguard's salary, in order to help him secure a mortgage. The bodyguard had a monthly salary of 43 000 SEK, but Mona Sahlin wrote a confirmation letter stating that he had a salary of 120 000 SEK. When confronted with the issue, she first made a false statement that she had paid the difference out of her own pocket, before retracting the statement after it was proven by Expressen to actually be false. The media mentioned similarities to the so-called Toblerone case of the 1990s when Sahlin was caught using her government credit card to pay for private expenses and then dodging the issue when confronted.
In November 2017, Sahlin was found guilty of tax evasion. In 2015, she had failed to declare 151,072 kronor in income from writing and lecturing, and in 2016 she had failed to declare 106.193 kronor. She was required to pay a fine of 23,000 kronor.
Mona Sahlin has one brother and two sisters. Her brother, Janne Andersson, is the former lead singer of the pop group Japop and owns his own production company. Her sister Lena Ridemar is the chief of staff at the Tenants' Association.
In 1982, she married Bo Sahlin, a politician who later became the CEO of the Social Democratic media company AiP Media Produktion AB in 2006. The couple have three children: Jenny (born 1983), Gustav (born 1989), and Johan who died after ten months as a result of heart failure. She also has a child named Ann-Sofie from a previous relationship with a man named David Peña.
- Sahlin, Mona (1996). Med mina ord. ISBN 91-518-3006-X.
- "Mona Sahlin har tagit över" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. 17 March 2007. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 18 March 2007.
- "Aftonbladet: Sveriges nyhetskälla och mötesplats". Archived from the original on 13 July 2006. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
- "Sverige. Mona Sahlin blir socialdemokraternas sjunde ordförande på hundra år. Hon blir den första kvinnan i toppen. Och hon kommer bättre förberedd till partiledarposten än någon av sina föregångare". Sverige. 10 March 2007. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
- "SVT kämpar för att Mona ska få sjunga". Aftonbladet. 14 March 2004. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
- "CV". socialdemokraterna. 10 September 2007. Archived from the original on 8 June 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
- Molin, Kari (18 January 2007). "Klart att hon kan, vill och törs" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2007.
- Holmen, Christian (13 October 1995). "A long series of loans and debts (En lång rad av lån och skulder)". Expressen (in Swedish).
- Kinzer, Stephen (14 November 1995). "Stockholm Journal;The Shame of a Swedish Shopper (a Morality Tale)". The New York Times. Stockholm. Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
- "Nu är toblerone- affären historia". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Stockholm. 16 March 2007. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
- Svensson, Britta (5 January 2007). "Nej det handlade inte bara om Toblerone..." (in Swedish). Expressen. Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
- "Bakgrund: Mona Sahlin kan bli socialdemokraternas partiledare". svt. 19 January 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
- "Mona Sahlin är favoriten". Expressen. 25 October 2006. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
- Brors, Henrik (19 January 2007). "Sahlin får börja på topp" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2007.
- "Alliance overtakes opposition: poll". The Local. 4 April 2009. Archived from the original on 10 April 2009. Retrieved 8 May 2009.
- "Sahlin hit by massive crisis of confidence". The Local. 9 April 2009. Archived from the original on 12 May 2009. Retrieved 8 May 2009.
- "LO-basen stöder Mona Sahlin" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. 9 January 2007. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2007.
- "Växande stöd för Sahlin" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. 10 January 2007. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2007.
- Hamrud, Annika (6 January 2007). "Göteborg vill ha Sahlin som s-ledare" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2007.
- ""Framgången" var sämsta valresultatet någonsin". Svenska Dagbladet. 12 June 2009. Archived from the original on 15 June 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2009.
- "In quotes: Swedish election". BBC News. 20 September 2010. Archived from the original on 27 November 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
- "Svensk kultur en saga blott?". Human Rights Service. 22 April 2005. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
- Sahlin, Mona (22 March 2016). ""Sverige befinner sig på ett sluttande plan"". Dagens Samhälle. Archived from the original on 27 January 2018.
- "Sakine Madon: "Sluta fega i kampen mot jihadismen"". Omni. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
- "Mona Sahlin avgår efter avslöjandet". Expressen. 4 May 2016. Archived from the original on 5 May 2016.(in Swedish)
- "Affären visar att hon inte lärt sig ett dugg". www.expressen.se. Archived from the original on 20 October 2019. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
- "Mona Sahlin straffas för skattebrott". SVT Nyheter. Archived from the original on 27 January 2018.
- "En fråga till Mona Sahlin". hakanpettersson. 18 January 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
- "Bo Sahlin". Resume. 17 March 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
- "Mona Sahlins barn har vuxit upp – det gör de i dag". Femina. 4 February 2021. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
- "Så ser Mona Sahlins barn Ann-Sofie, Jenny och Gustav ut idag". Hant. 23 June 2020. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
- "Det var Mona Sahlins dotter som Hunter Biden stämplade som rasist". Friatrider. 26 February 2021. Retrieved 5 September 2021.