Christian Democrats party leader Ebba Busch is party to the house purchase dispute, which has been getting media attention since October after Expressen first reported it. The argument is about a property that the KD leader believes he has bought. At the same time, the homeowner, a man in his 80s, says he regrets it.
In the past week, the course of events has developed when Busch’s lawyer filed a lawsuit against the man in Uppsala court on Wednesday. Two days later, the man filed a police report for vandalism, claiming that Busch “illegally cut a large number of trees” – a claim the KD leader disputes.
Leif Lewin is a political scientist at Uppsala University and believes the conflict could damage KD’s reputation.
– I think this is a big problem for Ebba Busch because the party has profiled itself in older issues. The consequences could be that KD disappears from public opinion and their credibility is affected. As a PR, it’s very thoughtless, says Lewin.
When the Christian Democrats post their main issues on their website, the elderly are involved. Lewin believes that the party leader plays an important role for the voters, and that the argument is therefore risky.
– Opinions can fluctuate quickly. Then you have to remember that a story can blow over as quickly as it occurs, if there is a problem that will overturn it in the mass media, he says.
According to a study by Novus, confidence in Ebba Busch was 29 percent in September. Only three party leaders came higher then: Jonas Sjöstedt (V), who has since resigned, Stefan Löfven (S) and Ulf Kristersson (M). Additionally, KD received 5.7 percent of voter support in Kantar Sifo’s latest voter barometer in mid-November.
This kind of attention can hurt both her and the party. Whether she is right in the dispute or not.
– Now it is important for her to be honest and get out quickly with a clarification. Or even to withdraw the purchase. I find it very remarkable and surprising that she persists, says Lewin.
Marja Lemne, associate professor of political science at Södertörn University, is also surprised by the actions of the KD leader.
– There is a risk as a party leader of going against individual citizens. More infamous than unknown, it has been said, but getting this kind of attention can harm both her and the party. Whether she is right in the dispute or not. It may seem like she lacks empathy, Lemne says.
Ebba Busch has said before to express that she should not complete the purchase if the homeowner does not want to sell and if he is unable to make his own decisions.
However, opinions differ between the parties on the circumstances of the conflict. The homeowner’s lawyer has previously told DN that the man has memory problems and has clearly stated that he wants to cancel the deal. Busch believes the message comes after external pressure. In addition, she says that the man has been absent from several meetings.
“If some of the circumstances are not resolved and all contact attempts are rejected, we have come to the end of the road. That’s not what I want, but now the legal road is the only alternative that remains ”, Ebba Busch writes in an e-mail to DN.
“I have thought about that well and as a public person there is always the media perspective, also in terms of my private life. But is it reasonable that just because you are a public figure you should be viewed as lawless? I’ve worked hard to get this right. We have made an appointment. “