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Plan to give Danes direct say in parliament hits roadblock

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Plan to give Danes direct say in parliament hits roadblock
The plan would allow Danes who can get 49,999 others to join their cause to put a proposal straight to parliament. Photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Scanpix
09:14 CEST+02:00
There is broad political support to allow Danish residents to send proposals directly to parliament if they can recruit enough fellow Danes to their cause but the plan to give citizens a direct voice in Christiansborg likely faces an uphill battle.
Under a plan championed by The Alternative, any resident who can gather 50,000 signatures would be allowed to formally present a law proposal to parliament, which would then be obligated to take up the issue. 
 
The plan is backed by the Danish People's Party, the Social Liberals (Radikale), the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten),the Socialist People's Party and the Conservatives, giving it a clear majority needed to pass parliament. 
 
 
Parliament's legal advisors, however, say that the plan to give residents a direct voice would likely violate the constitution. 
 
In an internal memo obtained by Jyllands-Posten, parliamentary lawyers wrote that “a right can not be established within the framework of the constitution” to force a politician to formally propose someone else's idea. 
 
The memo states that only ministers and MPs can present proposals to parliament and that they are only “bound by their own convictions and not by any instructions given by their voters”.
 
Justice Minister Søren Pind also wrote a letter to parliament saying that Danish citizens are being misled when they are told that they can get an issue directly into parliament for a vote. 
 
A spokesman for The Alternative said the party would gather other supporters of the idea to find a new way forward. 
 
“We will find a good solution,” Rasmus Nordqvist vowed to Jyllands-Posten.
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