Rasmussen to serve as Denmark’s prime minister

Prime Minister Rasmussen leads Denmark’s new minority cabinet with 17 members

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Lars Loekke Rasmussen was appointed as Denmark’s new prime minister on Sunday and has become the leader of the minority government formed by the centre-right Venstre party.

After anti-immigrant Danish People’s party (DPP) refused to form a coalition with Venstre, Rasmussen announced on Friday that he would form a minority government rather than continue to try to form a coalition.

Rasmussen and his new 17-member cabinet met with Queen Margrethe II in Amalienborg palace in Copenhagen.

After the meeting, Rasmussen gave a short speech to the press in front of the palace saying, “We are perfectly aware that we are a minority government that will have to work in cooperation.”

​Stricter laws over immigration, asylum and cuts to the government’s budget are among the plans that were announced by the new governing party during the election campaign.

Rasmussen said that “migration had got out of control,” and announced that the new government planned to propose a bill for tougher immigration rules next week.

Rasmussen also said that his cabinet supports holding a referendum in one year to determine support for EU policies.

Despite having only 34 seats in the 179-seat Danish parliament (Folketing), Rasmussen was appointed as prime minister with the support of other right-wing parties such as the DPP, Liberal Alliance and the Conservatives.

Former Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s Social Democrats won 47 seats and received the majority of the vote, but cannot form a government because the right-wing bloc have the majority of the seats overall.

Following Thorning-Schmidt’s resignation after the elections, the Social Democrats selected 37-year old former Justice minister Mette Frederiksen to be the new leader of the party on Sunday.

Because Rasmussen formed a minority government with the support of the right-wing bloc, the Venstre cabinet requires the votes of DPP, Liberal Alliance and the Conservative parliamentarians to pass any law.

Rasmussen also served as a prime minister from 2009 to 2011. During this time, his accusations of excessive spending were a topic of controversy among Denmark’s public.

TRTWorld and agencies