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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 16:53 GMT 17:53 UK
Spy row claims Swedish politician
Johan Jakobsson. Photo: 5 September 2006
Mr Jakobsson said he should have "acted more forcefully"
A top official from Sweden's opposition party has resigned over a political spying row that is dominating the country's election campaign.

Liberal Party secretary Johan Jakobsson said he should have done more to stop a party worker hacking into the computer network of the ruling Social Democrats.

The network contains key information about electoral strategies.

Polls suggest the row has caused the Liberals and their allies to fall behind the Social Democrat coalition.

Mr Jakobsson said he was quitting immediately because he had not "acted more forcefully" over the affair.

This is the biggest election scandal in Sweden since the 1930s - it's getting bigger every hour
Fredric Karen
Svenska Dagbladet

He said he had told his party colleague, Per Jodenius, to stop when he found out about the spying in March, but had taken no further action.

Mr Jodenius - who has admitted accessing the network - was sacked from his post of Liberal Party youth wing press secretary earlier this week.

Prime Minister Goran Persson, who leads the Social Democrats, has said the infringement has damaged his party preparations for the 17 September poll that is expected to be closely contested.

The party has also filed a police complaint about the incident.

'Americanisation'

"This is the biggest election scandal in Sweden since the 1930s. It's getting bigger every hour," Fredric Karen, editor of Sweden's Svenska Dagbladet newspaper told the BBC News website.

"Swedes are worried that the campaign has gone so far, to the level of dirty tricks. They're talking about the 'Americanisation' of our politics, because this was not a feature of our politics before."

Henrik Brors, political editor of the Dagens Nyheter newspaper, told the BBC News website that the Liberals were currently "in a big crisis".

Mr Brors added that the hacking had damaged the Social Democrats' campaign because "the Liberals knew the timetable, the media agenda" of their rivals.


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