by Norwegian Chef
Tue Mar 21st, 2006 at 05:32:58 AM EST
The Mohammed cartoon controversy, the story that will not die, has claimed another leading victim, the Swedish Foreign Minister, Ms Laila Freivalds.
Facing a surging opposition in the six-month run up to the national election and enduring ongoing criticism from the mainstream press for ordering the closure of a rightwing website that was going to publish the cartoons without due process of law, Ms Freivalds has tendered her resignation, which the Prime Minister has accepted.
Regardless of one's political leanings, this is going to be one interesting and nail-biting election coming up in Sweden.
The BBC has the following clip:
Sweden FM quits over cartoon row
Laila Freivalds resigned six months before an election
Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds has resigned in a row related to cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
She has been strongly criticised in the press after the foreign ministry ordered the website of a far-right party to be shut down.
The site had been due to publish the cartoons, which sparked a furore after their initial publication in Denmark.
She was also criticised over the Swedish response to the Asian tsunami, in which about 500 Swedes died.
Ms Freivalds resigned just six months before an election in Sweden, in which the ruling Social Democrats face a resurgent opposition.
"It was her own decision," Prime Minister Goran Persson said after his foreign minister's announcement.
He has said Deputy Prime Minister Bosse Ringholm will take over as foreign minister temporarily.
Ms Freivalds was rounded on by the press when a far-right website was forced to close on 9 February, after a foreign ministry official contacted the site's hosting company.
Critics said this was an intrusion on the freedom of speech.
The minister said she did not order the official to contact the company, but a later report from the ministry said she was involved in the decision.