New PM: 'We will have to work in cooperation'

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AFP/The Local - [email protected]
New PM: 'We will have to work in cooperation'
Lars Løkke Rasmussen is walking back into the PM's office that he occupied between 2009-2011. Photo: Simon Læssøe/Scanpix

To get anything done in parliament, ew PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen's government will have to compromise with fellow centre-right parties or reach across the aisle to build an alternative majority.


Lars Løkke Rasmussen was inaugurated as Denmark's new prime minister Sunday, at the head of a minority government made up solely of ministers from his centre-right Venstre party (see his cabinet members here).
Venstre decided to go it alone in government -- despite finishing third in this month's elections -- after unsuccessful coalition talks with the anti-immigration Danish People's Party (DF), who finished second.
Rasmussen and his ministers had an audience with Queen Margrethe II as he formally succeeded Helle Thorning-Schmidt as prime minister.
"We are perfectly aware that we are a minority government that will have to work in cooperation," Rasmussen told the media as he left the palace in Copenhagen.
Thorning-Schmidt's Social Democrats, despite coming first in the election with 47 seats, were unable to form a government as the right-wing bloc won an majority overall.
While minority governments are common in Denmark, the Venstre administration is set to be very weak, holding just 34 lawmakers in the 179-seat parliament.
Coalition talks with DF broke down over Venstre's plans to slash taxes for Denmark's highest earners. DF said it could not accept the proposal after it had campaigned for increased pensions and healthcare credits.
Venstre will now have to negotiate with DF and two smaller right-wing parties, the Conservatives and the libertarian-leaning Liberal Alliance party, every time it wants to pass a law.
In a similar situation in 1973, a Venstre administration with just 22 seats in parliament only lasted 14 months before collapsing and giving way to a left-wing government.
Rasmussen's new cabinet has 17 members, three less than his predecessor's. Five of them are women.
Rasmussen was previously prime minister between 2009 and 2011. His last time in power was marked by controversies over excessive spending that made him unpopular with the public.
The Social Democrats on Sunday selected former justice minister Mette Frederiksen, 37, as new party leader after Thorning-Schmidt resigned following the June 18 election. 


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