Danish Government calls for elections to avoid no-confidence vote over mink scandal

Danish Government calls for elections to avoid no-confidence vote over mink scandal
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. Credit: Belga

Danish Prime Minister Metter Frederiksen has called for a general election on 1 November, confirming reports at a press conference on Wednesday lunchtime.

The Social Democrats government has triggered early elections in order to avoid a vote of no confidence from one of its ruling partners, the Danish Social Liberal Party, who were planning to hold one on Thursday if an election had not been called by then.

Otherwise, they were also threatening to pull their support from the government – who rules alone but leans on other parties for legislative support.

A general election had been long expected after the Social Liberals gave the government an ultimatum in July after its handling of the mink scandal. The pressure further mounted after a commission inquiry found the actions to be illegal.

In November 2020, Prime Minister Frederiksen unlawfully ordered the culling of all of the country's minks, amounting to 17 million, after its Health Institute believed that Covid-19 might mutate through mink. Since then, critics have honed in on the dangers of a government acting outside the confines of the law.

Gearing up for an unpredictable election

Several polities parties are calling their own press conferences after Frederiksen's announcement today. With the emergence of several smaller parties and the drop in support for traditional parties, Danish politics is also facing an unpredictable future.

Prime Minister Frederiksen has delayed calling for an election for as long as possible due to a significant drop in polls due to the mink scandal. But according to recent polling from public broadcaster DR, the Social Democrats still have the most public support. Nonetheless, the election is expected to be close between the left-wing incumbents and the right-wing challengers.

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Critics have questioned the Social Liberals for forcing an election during an international security crisis, particularly after the Nord Stream 1 and 2 blasts last week. But Social Liberal leader Sofie Carsten Nielsen has remained defiant inTV2 News.

"The time has come to ask ourselves how Denmark should be ruled. This government is too willful on its own. We need to spread it out and include the other parties in the Danish Parliament."

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