Danish centre-right opposition wins election

Danish opposition leader Lars Lokke Rasmussen offered on Friday to try to form a centre-right government after voters ditched the ruling centre-left in an election

Danish centre-right opposition wins election

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Danish voters ousted Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt in an election on Thursday and handed power to an opposition centre-right alliance including huge gains for a eurosceptic, anti-immigrant party.

Opposition leader Lars Lokke Rasmussen said he would try to form a government but is likely to have to make big concessions to ensure support from the right-wing Danish Peoples' Party (DF), which ended up with more votes than his Liberal Party.

With all of the votes counted on the mainland, the centre-right won 90 seats in parliament to 85 seats for the centre-left bloc of Thorning-Schmidt, who wrongly gambled that an economic upturn would win her re-election.

"Tonight we have been given an opportunity, but only an opportunity, to take leadership in Denmark," Rasmussen told supporters in parliament.

"We take that upon ourselves and I take that upon myself ... What I offer today is to put myself at the head of a government," he said.

DF's strong results were expected, but the party has been coy throughout the campaign about whether it would join a government for the first time in its 20-year history. It could leave the Liberals to form a government by themselves but support their policies in parliamentary votes, as it has done before.

"What we have said before the election is also what we will follow after the election - that we will be where the political influence is greatest," said DF leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl.

"If that is in a government, then that is where we will be. If it is outside of the government, then that is where we will be. That is the driver for us, not ministerial titles."

The party has already managed to set the agenda on some issues without being in government - mainstream parties across the political aisle talked about curbing immigration, following its lead, and DF won an important concession from centre-right parties on its stance on the European Union.

Last Mod: 19 Haziran 2015, 09:47
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