AS the September 14 election exposes deep divisions in Sweden and opinion polls suggests the centre-left opposition extends a lead ahead of election, the center-right government took an unprecedented step to scapegoat Eritrea in the hope to win some badly needed votes. It had given the first secretary at the Eritrean embassy two days to leave the country.
A spokeswoman for the embassy, however, assure this reporter that despite the unusual decision from the government, the Embassy continues to provide service as usual.
One source, who asked not to be named, told the TT news agency in Sweden that “It’s been in the works for a long time that an Eritrean diplomat was to be ejected.”
It’s all about the timing though. It was chosen to coincide this election time so that it may help fishing some desperately needed votes for the troubled ruling government.
Although Sweden didn’t give reason for taking the unusual step, it believes that victimizing Eritrea during the election period might serve as a good omen in winning the election as Eritrea has been on the wrong spot in Sweden domestic politics due to the controversial 2% diaspora-tax and the case of Dawit Issac, a Swedish-Eritrean journalist who is detained in Eritrea for charges of treason since 2000.
Some politicians welcomed the government’s decision on Eritrea and one of them was the controversial Swedish-Eritrean parliamentarian and extremely anti-Eritrean government critic, Mr. Arhe Hamednaca.
“I am delighted with this. It’s a very, very good decision”, he told the TT news agency and adds that Friday’s decision would be the first step toward shutting down Eritrean embassies in Sweden and other parts of the EU.
Arhe Hamednaca, from Social Democrat, is also running in the September 14 parliamentary election and he is badly looking for votes from his fellow Eritreans. However, he and the majority of the strong Eritrean community in Sweden won’t see eye-to-eye lately.
He has been highly criticized by the community for supporting the ongoing violence, racism and xenophobia against the peaceful Swedish-Eritrean Community specially when he was caught publicly defending the perpetrators when three Eritrean community center firebombed last year. As a matter of fact, not a single Swedish parliamentarian, human rights group or religious organization have spoken out publicly or condemn these violent attacks. Not even a single Swedish media outlet present to report when thousands of Eritreans across Sweden march through the bitterly cold streets of Stockholm to the Swedish Parliament to protest these racist attacks. A tacit backing?
That was not all. The Swedish-Eritrean community who helped Arhe Hamednaca to win the Parliament sit four years ago is now hunting him down for backstabbing. Recently released documents shows that parliamentarian Arhe Hamednaca has forged signature from the Eritrean community audit report to swindle a government fund amounting to 331,488 Kr to his personal use.
Despite all the set backs, the indomitable Swedish – Eritrean community vowed to exercise their voting right once again this time to put the likes of Arhe Hamednaca back to where they belong.