22nd Mar 2018

Denmark re-elects Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Denmark's liberal-conservative government has secured a third term in office following elections on Tuesday (13 November).

Supported by the right-wing Danish People's Party, prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen secured exactly the 90 seats in the Folketinget needed to continue his government, already in place since 2001.

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  • Anders Fogh Rasmussen - the longest serving liberal PM in Denmark (Photo: © Council of the European Union, 2000-2005)

It will be Mr Rasmussen's third term as prime minister and he will also become the longest ruling liberal prime minister of the country.

The result also confirmed him as one of the few political leaders to have supported the US-led war in Iraq without facing defeat in the next elections.

But the tight result was secured only because one of the four MPs from the Faroe Islands and Greenland - the Danish dependencies in the North Atlantic – supports the coalition.

The centrist New Alliance party formed in May by Naser Khader, a Palestinian immigrant born in Syria, secured five seats in the Folketinget.

The New Alliance was hoped to be an alternative to the right-wing Danish Peoples Party, but the government is able to continue without the support of the party. Mr Fogh Rasmussen said he would also include the party when forming the government's policies.

The Danish People's Party got 25 seats in the parliament, one more than in the 2005-elections.

The election campaign was mainly focussed on domestic welfare, tax reforms, immigration and climate change policies, all main concerns of the social democrat opposition.

But a booming economy and unemployment rates at historically low levels secured the government victory.

Social Democrat chairwoman Helle Thorning-Schmidt cemented her position as leader of the opposition in what was her first national election campaign. "I will beat Fogh next time", she declared.

European affairs never became an issue in the election campaign even though one of the first important tasks for the re-elected government will be to tackle the EU Reform Treaty.

The Danish Peoples Party demands a referendum on the issue, which could force prime minister Fogh Rasmussen to seek support from the left side in the parliament to have the treaty ratified.


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