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Danish environmental parties announce merger 

Danish political party Green Alliance (Grøn Alliance) will be absorbed into larger environmental party The Alternative (Alternativet).

Danish environmental parties announce merger 
Franciska Rosenkilde, political leader of environmentalist Danish political party Alternativet, confirmed a merger with another party, Green Alliance. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Green Alliance – formerly the Vegan Party – will be merged into the Alternative party, which currently has representation in parliament, the latter party confirmed in a statement.

“We are very pleased that Green Alliance has decided to join under our banner,” Alternative’s political leader Franciska Rosenkilde said in a statement.

“I have great respect for this declaration of confidence and the mandate I have been given by Green Alliance,” she said.

The merger will “ensure the green wing has the strongest voice in parliament,” the release said.

The leader of Green Alliance, Henrik Vindfeldt said he was happy that his party would be absorbed by Alternative, but later announced he will not run in the next general election.

“Green transition and the fight for a planet where animals and people thrive comes before anything else,” he said in the statement.

He later told broadcaster DR that he would not run at the next election after recent “hard years”, but did not rule out a future return to politics.

“First and foremost, this is because I have huge confidence in Franciska and Alternative and the rest of the team. If I didn’t have that, I would be running,” he said to DR.

Meanwhile, another environmental party — the Independent Greens (Frie Grønne) — has roundly rejected The Alternatives’ offer to join under the same banner.

Sikandar Siddique, leader of the Independent Greens, called earlier this month for Alternative to be absorbed by his own party, which he said was engaged in an “uncompromising battle for the climate”.

Siddique, a former Alternative member himself, was elected to parliament with that party before leaving to join the Independent Greens, who were formed in 2020

Another defector to the Independent Greens, Uffe Elbæk, earlier this week announced his return to Alternative. Elbæk is one of the founders of Alternative and a former political leader of that party.

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POLITICS

Danish PM strongly hints at general election after opening of parliament

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen gave a clear suggestion that a general election will be called imminently following the traditional opening of parliament on Tuesday.

Danish PM strongly hints at general election after opening of parliament

A general election is widely expected to be announced by Frederiksen on Wednesday after she opted not to use her speech at the opening of parliament to announce it, but subsequently told media an election was close.

“I daresay the election will soon start getting closer,” she told reporters following the traditional opening of parliament.

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When again asked when the election would be announced, she repeated the comment “I daresay it’s close”.

The PM was also asked by broadcaster DR why she had not used the speech traditionally given by the prime minister at the opening of parliament to announce the election.

“Because it’s the opening speech of parliament and I think it was important to give an opening speech in which I first and foremost underline the serious situation we and Europe are in, but also point out the areas in we have a lot of work to do, regardless of whoever is in power after the election,” she said.

Legally, the government could wait until June 4th, 2023 to hold a general election, which is required once every four years under the Danish Constitution.

The Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party has demanded Frederiksen call an early general election, an ultimatum issued in response to the conclusions earlier this year of an inquiry into the government’s 2020 mink scandal, which resulted in Frederiksen receiving an official rebuke.

The Social Liberals wanted an election called by the time of parliament’s return and have threatened to bring down the government through a vote of no confidence if an election is not announced.

“If a majority in parliament want an election to be held, the government cannot ignore that,” Frederiksen said on Tuesday.

She also called the timing of the election “remarkable” given the current international security situation and recent leaks at the Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea

Parliament is opened each year on the first Tuesday in October with a traditional speech given by the prime minister – somewhat comparable to a ‘State of the Union’ speech – in which she gives her assessment of the situation in the Scandinavian nation as the new political year begins.

In her speech on Tuesday, Frederiksen covered topics including Denmark’s economic challenges, climate change, strengthening the country’s welfare provisions and international security. She used the word “secure” (tryg) seven times in various forms during the speech according to DR’s count, but chose not to mention the election for now.

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