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Denmark taps former MP as new defence minister

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Denmark taps former MP as new defence minister
PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen presented Peter Christensen as the new defence minister on Wednesday. Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Scanpix
11:46 CEST+02:00
Venstre's Peter Christensen, a former tax minister and MP, was named as the new defence minister on Wednesday.
Following scandal-plagued Carl Holst's resignation on Tuesday, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen introduced Peter Christensen as Denmark's new defence minister on Wednesday. 
 
 
“I'm on the way to Amalienborg to present the country's new defence minister and minister for Nordic cooperation, Peter Christensen,” Rasmussen wrote on Facebook before officially presenting Christensen to Prince Joachim. 
 
In Denmark, it is a custom to formally ask the Royal Family's approval of ministerial appointments. 
 
“Ahead of billion kroner investments in the defence and the negotiation of a new defence agreement, I have prioritized choosing a person with extensive parliamentary experience who is widely respected in Christiansborg,” Rasmussen said. 
 
40-year-old Christensen is a trained electrician who spent 14 years in parliament before failing to be reelected in June. He also spend eight months as the tax minister under Rasmussen's first tenure as PM. 
 
Following his electoral defeat in June, Christensen said that he was completely withdrawing from parliament. 
 
“I didn't expect to get back into politics for the simple reason that I wasn't elected into parliament and I was prepared to do something else […] so I was surprised when the prime minister called me last night,” Christensen told reporters. 
 
Holst resigned on Tuesday after just 93 days in his post. He was hammered in the press over his ‘double salary' and the misuse of public funds during the June election campaign. He said he was stepping down because his scandals had “overshadowed” the government's work.
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