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Pirate Party wins seat in European Parliament

Drops anchor in Brussels

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The pro-internet file sharing Pirate Party yesterday scored a big win by securing a seat in the European parliament.

It pulled in 7.1 per cent of votes in Sweden, which handed the party one of the country’s 18 seats in the European parliament.

"Privacy issues and civil liberties are important to people and they demonstrated that clearly when they voted today," Pirate Party candidate Anna Troberg told Swedish TV on Sunday.

Thousands of Swedes declared their support for the party following the landmark Pirate Bay trial in April, which saw founders of the notorious BitTorrent tracker site convicted of being accessories to breaching copyright laws and handed one-year jail terms.

The party was formed in Sweden in 2006 following the introduction of a controversial law that forbade the downloading of copyrighted material from the internet.

The Pirate Party is not the only marginal party that has now claimed a seat in Strasbourg. In the UK, the Far Right BNP has claimed two seats, while the UK Independence Party came in second overall behind the Conservatives. Labour was pushed into third place.

The BNP, which styles itself as the representative of the "Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Danes, Norse and closely related kindred peoples" it says constitute the indigenous peoples of the UK, took 6.5 per cent of the UK vote. The Pirate Party beat this, with its 7.1 per cent share. We think this tells us something significant, but we're not sure what.®

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