Left Party helped kids 'hit politicians in the face'
Published: 4 May 12 08:14 CET
Sweden's Left Party has come in for criticism for allowing young children to take whacks at the faces of centre-right government ministers which were plastered on a piñata at the party's recent May 1st festivities.
The piñata was included among the children's games featured at the Left Party's May Day celebrations in Slottsparken in central Malmö and featured the faces of prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and finance minister Anders Borg of the Moderate Party, as well as a smiling portrait of Centre Party leader and enterprise minister Annie Lööf.
Click here to see a picture of the Left Party's political piñata
The children were then rewarded for repeatedly hitting the politicians in the face by a sizeable supply of candy which came then came spilling out of the political piñata.
"It was something fun that the kids enjoyed," arranger Patrik Strand told the Sydsvenskan newspaper.
"I don't think children will grow up and hit Annie Lööf in the head. It would be a shame if they did."
However, Lööf and a number of other centre-right politicians didn't share Strand's light-hearted attitude toward the child-sized episode of political violence.
"I think it's distasteful and I think they could have spent the money on something much better," Lööf told the TT news agency.
"Like labour market reforms for young people."
While Reinfeldt refused to comment on the incident, local Malmö Moderate politician Anja Sonesson condemned the Left Party's decision to engage young children in politically-themed games.
"It's an example of extraordinarily poor taste," she told Sydsvenskan.
Even Left Party leadership distanced itself from the stunt.
"Our stance is to distance ourselves from political violence and also from symbolic actions which can suggest those types of associations," Left Party spokesperson Ted Bergdahl told TT.
"We understand if someone was offended or upset by what happened and we think it's unfortunate."
He added that representatives for the party's central leadership have since spoken to members of the Left Party's Malmö district and explained the party's view toward the piñata.
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