Jimmie Åkesson

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Jimmie Åkesson
Jimmie Åkesson.jpg
Åkesson in 2014
Leader of the Sweden Democrats
Incumbent
Assumed office
7 May 2005
Preceded by Mikael Jansson
Member of the Swedish parliament for Jönköping County
Incumbent
Assumed office
4 October 2010
Personal details
Born (1979-05-17) 17 May 1979 (age 35)
Ivetofta, Kristianstad County, Sweden
Political party Moderate Party
(1995)
Sweden Democrats
(1995-present)
Alma mater Lund University
Occupation Politician

Per Jimmie Åkesson (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈjɪmɪ ˈoːkɛ.ˈsɔn], YIM-ee AW-kə-sən; born 17 May 1979) is a Swedish politician. He is the current leader of the Sweden Democrats and a member of the Swedish parliament following the 2010 general election.[1]

Biography[edit]

Jimmie Åkesson was born in Ivetofta, Sweden,[2] but grew up in Sölvesborg, Blekinge County.[3] He was a member of the Moderate Youth League, the youth wing of the Moderate Party, for a short while before he joined the old Sweden Democratic Youth Association (the youth wing of the Sweden Democrats) in 1995.[3] The same year he also co-founded a local chapter of the Sweden Democratic Youth Association.[3] In 1997 he was elected as a deputy member of the party board.[3] The party's policies that he claims he was most attracted to at first were its view on the European Union, and its policy on immigration.

In 1998, at the age of 19, Åkesson was elected to public office as a councilman in Sölvesborg Municipality.[3] The same year, he also became deputy chairman of the newly established Sweden Democratic Youth (Sverigedemokratisk Ungdom), and later, from 2000 to 2005, was chairman of the organization.[3] In 2005, he defeated party leader Mikael Jansson in a party election to become the party leader of the Sweden Democrats.[4]

In the 2010 general election the Sweden Democrats for the first time crossed the election threshold and entered the Swedish parliament with 5.70% of the votes.[5] Åkesson, who was placed first on the party's national ballot, was elected as a Member of Parliament together with 19 of his fellow party members.[1][6]

Prior to working full-time in politics, Åkesson worked as a web designer at the company BMJ Aktiv, which he co-founded with, among others, Björn Söder, the current party secretary of the Sweden Democrats.[2] He studied political science among other subjects at Lund University.[2]

On Thursday, December 12, 2013, Åkesson became a father for the first time when his son Nils was born to him and his fiancée Louise.[7] In September 2014 Sveriges Radio (SR) reported that Åkesson had spent upwards of 500,000 kronor ($70,000) in 2014 alone on online betting. The sum is more than the politician would have earned all year, after tax, reported SR.[8] The revelation caused an uproar, both among people who view Åkesson as unreliable and those who opposed SR's decision to publish the information. Among the later were former Green Party spokesperson Maria Wetterstrand and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt.[9] Åkesson himself called SR's actions an attempt at character assassination.[10]

Following the 2014 election, Åkesson announced he will be on sick leave due to burnout.[11][12] In early 2015, Åkesson was named Sweden's most important opinion leader for the calendar year 2014 by the Swedish magazine DSM in their annual such rankings.[13][14]

On March 27, 2015, Åkesson publicly announced that he would be returning to his duties as Sverigedemokraterna party leader, albeit initially in a somewhat reduced role, on the SVT program Skavlan, as well as in an open letter on his Facebook page.[15]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Mikael Jansson
Leader of the Sweden Democrats
2005–present
Incumbent