Danish Prime Minister forced to call a vote on November 1

Cornered, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen had no choice. Her allies in Parliament, the Social Liberals (Radikale Venstre), threatened her with a motion of censure this Thursday, October 6, if she did not call general elections beforehand. Avoiding this humiliation, the leader of the Social Democrats announced on Wednesday that the vote would take place on 1Ahem November, thus starting a flash campaign, in a particularly tense internal and geopolitical context.

In Denmark, outgoing prime ministers have an advantage: They decide when voters will be called to the polls, as long as it is within four years of the last election. In May 2019, the liberal Lars Lokke Rasmussen, at the head of the government since 2015, had taken advantage of the hospitalization of M.me Frederiksen to launch the election campaign. Suffering from severe gastroenteritis, she had missed the first major television debate, which traditionally brings together party leaders, the same night as the voter call.

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Once again, Mette Frederiksen would probably have preferred to wait. Her term was due to end in June 2023. But she had a “gun to the head”, summarizes the political scientist Martin Vinæs Larsen. The head of the Social Democrats admitted that the timing was far from ideal. In Denmark, discontent with inflation rises to its highest level in forty years. The economic crisis threatens. And it is that, since September 26, the Scandinavian kingdom faces an unprecedented situation, after the explosions in the Nord Stream gas pipelines, located in its exclusive economic zone, in front of the island of Bornholm.

Mink Board of Inquiry

METERme However, Frederiksen was not taken by surprise. The leader of the social-liberal party, Sofie Carsten Nilesen, presented her ultimatum this summer, on July 2. “A new beginning is needed”He wrote then, in a message on Facebook, arguing the polarization in the political scene, after the publication, four days before, of the 1,600-page report of the commission of inquiry on mink.

For almost a year, a judge, a law professor and two lawyers questioned about a hundred people, including the Prime Minister, members of her government and her cabinet. The objective: to establish responsibilities for the decision that led Mette Frederiksen, on November 4, 2020, to decree the slaughter of the entire Danish mink herd, that is, more than 15 million animals, to prevent the spread of a variant of SARS-CoV-2 observed in these mammals.

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