Denmark votes as parties grapple for center ground -

5 February,

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Denmark votes as parties grapple for center ground

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Voters in Denmark headed to the polls Tuesday as the government and opposition seek to win over centrist voters. 

According to DW, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, who became Denmark's youngest-ever prime minister in 2019, is seeking to form a broad coalition across the traditional left-right divide.

Who are the political players?

Frederiksen is seeking a vote of confidence in her handling of the pandemic and effrot to combat soaring inflation.

The balance of power is likely to be decided by who was most able to woo the middle ground, with polls showing almost a quarter of voters still undecided heading into election day.

For the past three-and-a-half years, Frederiksen's Social Democratic Party has has led Denmark with a minority government consisting solely of her own party. She has relied on on support from other left-wing groups at times, but has also leaned on votes from the conservative right when it came to tightening immigration policy.

Much could hinge on the outcome for the Moderates, founded by former prime minister and potential kingmaker Lars Lokke Rasmussen, formerly leader of the center-right agrarian Venstre Party.

Lokke Rasmussen has indicated that he might be open to a ruling coalition with the Social Democrats. He is also a potential candidate for prime minister.

The 58-year-old politician has survived several storms, including a scandal where he was caught using party funds to buy luxury suits.

Voting triggered by 'mink crisis'

The election was sparked by the "mink crisis," which has embroiled Denmark since a government decision in November 2020 to cull the country's roughly 15 million minks because of fears about a mutated strain of COVID-19.

A court determined the decision was illegal, and a party supporting the Social Democrats threatened to topple the government unless fresh elections were held. 

More than four million Danes are eligible to vote. They will choose from among 14 parties.

The campaign has been dominated by dommestic themes that range from tax cuts to a need to hire more nurses. Financial support for Danes amid rising inflation and soaring energy prices because of Russia's war in Ukraine are also key election issues.

Early results already in

The Danish parlimament has 179 seats with two seats coming from each of the country's autonomous territories of the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

Voting was held on the Faroe Islands Monday as Tuesday is a bank holiday. One seat went to the local affiliate of Venstre Party and another to a local sister party of the Social Democratic Party.


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