Greenland wakes up to first power shift in 30 years

After national elections yesterday Siumut, the leading party in Greenland since 1979, have lost their majority and look like they will be left out in the cold by their former opposition parties

If out-going Premier Hans Enoksen, leader of Siumut, hoped to ride the wave of national feeling surrounding the imminent introduction of self-rule on 21 June by calling for a national election at short notice, he made a strategic mistake.

The election saw the social democratic Siumut securing 26.5 percent of the votes, losing its 30 year power hold on Greenlandic politics. Socialist IA’s 43.7 percent of the vote was the largest of any party.

The leader of IA, Kuupik Kleist, has vowed that while the party is under his leadership there can be no possibility of working with Siumut in parliament, a position shared by the Demokraatit.

This leaves Siumut without the possibility of forming a bloc large enough to match IA, as the party’s former coalition partner Atassut have only 10.9 percent of the vote.

Siumut also suffered another loss, in the form of grand old man of Greenlandic politics, Jonathan Motzfeldt, failing to be elected to parliament. He secured only 91 votes, leaving him outside of the sphere of political influence for the first time since 1971.

However, despite IA’s overwhelming victory, Siumut did not drop far in the polls. Its 26.5 percent was only slightly less than the 30.4 percent support it gained in the 2005 election. The reason is that IA’s gains did not tend to come from disgruntled Siumut voters, but rather at the expense of fellow opposition party Demokraatit, which lost almost half of its support, dropping from 22.6 percent in 2005 to 12.7 percent yesterday.

However, Demokraatit leader Jens B Frederiksen indicated that it was preferable for the party to spend four years more outside the government, rather than team up with Siumut. The party have gained one seat more than they had prior to the election, giving IA a good chance of securing an extra four votes in parliament, to secure them a solid majority to form a government.

Enoksen, the leader of Siumut and premier until a new leader of the country is formally announced, has said that the media have played a large part in the misfortunes of his party during the elections, and that he is resigned to stepping down as party leader should his colleagues wish it.
Enoksen has been party leader since 2002, when he took over from Jonathan Motzfeldt.

The candidate elected with the least votes was Akitsinnguaq Olsen, with 112 votes and the candidate with the most votes, and setting a record for Greenlandic politics, was Kuupik Kleist with 5,461 votes.

Election results
Atassut – 10.9 percent (3,094 votes)
Demokraatit – 12.7 percent (3,620 votes)
IA – 43.7 percent (12,457 votes)
Siumut – 26.5 percent (8,861 votes)
Kattusseqatigiit – 3.8 percent (1,169 votes)
Sorlaat Partiiat – 1.3 percent (383 votes)


2 Responses

  1. torrak uuu asan..

  2. torrak ilumoorputit

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