Centre-right leads Denmark elections, Rasmussen to become PM

Center-right alliance wins parliamentary election in Denmark, first female PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt defeated with 89 seats in total, one short of majority

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The centre-right opposition alliance led by former prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen won parliamentary election on Thursday in Denmark with all votes counted, giving a big boost to an anti-immigration, right-wing party.

The opposition bloc, which would get the 90 seats needed to secure a majority in the parliament according to the unofficial results, wants to limit the European Union’s influence over Denmark on its immigration policy.

Rasmussen is expected to be the prime minister since he has the support of the other members of the block.

"Four years ago we handed over the keys to the prime minister's office. I then said it was only a loan," Rasmussen said to his supporters in Copenhagen.

"There is a majority that believes that Denmark needs a new government and gives us a possibility to get the keys back," he said.

Rasmussen’s Liberals party won fewer votes than his alliance right-wing Danish People's Party (DF), which secured 21 percent of the votes and became the second biggest political group in the parliament after the Social Democratic Party which led by the Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

Thorning-Schmidt’s bloc got 89 seats in total, one short of a majority, even though she improved her votes slightly and remained the country’s largest party. She quit as party leader after the counting.

"We were beaten on the finish line," Denmark’s first female Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt said to her supporters after the first results revealed her defeat.

"I know that Lars Loekke [Rasmussen] loves Denmark and he should be happy that he takes over a Denmark that is in great shape," she said.

Before the election, all parties focused on the economy, welfare spending, and immigration issue on which parties promised to tighten the country’s controls on the issue.

"I want an open Denmark, but I also want a Denmark that is efficiently shut for people who don't want our country," said Rasmussen to the crowd who gathered at party headquarters to celebrate the block’s victory.

TRTWorld and agencies