Last Friday, Reepalu suggested that the deportation of criminals and ‘temporary’ citizenship should be considered as measures to help battle criminality in Malmö’s Seved district.
Initially, the party’s judicial policy spokesperson, Morgan Johansson, made public comments indicating the party backed the proposal.
“This is a measure worth trying,” he told the TT news agency at the time
According to Sveriges Television (SVT), however, Johansson’s comments came only after he had consulted with Juholt’s staff about the Social Democrats’ position on the issue.
“That’s how it was. They had called Håkan’s staff and he (Morgan Johansson) received a directive from Håkan’s staff to not say no to the proposal,” Social Democrat MP Maryam Yazdanfar told Dagens Arena, a left-leaning internet news site, following an internal party meeting on Tuesday during which the matter was discussed.
Yazdanfar said she was “shocked” to learn that Juholt’s aides refrained from immediately rejecting the proposal.
“To not be clear and accurate on such a principal issue; I find that very problematic,” she said.
By the end of the day on Friday, after the proposal had been roundly criticised by prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt as well as prominent Social Democrats, both Juholt and Johansson distanced themselves from Reepalu’s suggested solution.
Mariam Osman Sherifay, a member of the party’s governing board who on Friday called Reepalu’s proposal “pure racism” has now demanded clarity in what led Johansson to initially issue statements indicating the party backed the proposal.
“I learned of this through the media and therefore I want to know exactly what the proposal was and who supported it. Regardless of who supported it, that person is alone,” she told TT on Wednesday.
“This isn’t something that was discussed by the party board or is included in our programme or has been taken up in a party congress.”
Juholt on Wednesday denied that he instructed Johansson to not reject the proposal.
“He really didn’t receive any instructions from me to give that impression, therefore I really don’t believe it. That’s not they way we’re going to fix serious gang crime,” Juholt said on Wednesday.
When asked whether or not anyone on his staff gave Johansson such instructions, Juholt replied:
“I state that Morgan Johansson quite quickly after his statements corrected himself. I think that’s a good thing.”