Denmark's Quran-burning extremist just misses out on parliament

The Local Denmark
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Denmark's Quran-burning extremist just misses out on parliament
Anti-Muslim extremist Rasmus Paludan. Photo: Philip Davali/ Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark's notorious anti-Muslim extremist Rasmus Paludan, known for burning the Quran in public places narrowly missed out on a seat in parliament in Wednesday's general election.


Paludan and his Stram Kurs party had been tipped to enter parliament but when the final votes were tallied they failed to get above the 2 percent needed.

Paludan, has espoused vehemently anti-Islam rhetoric and has a criminal conviction (he has appealed) for inciting racial hatred. He also wants to ban Islam -- in breach of the constitution -- and deport swathes of non-ethnic Danes from the country.

He is known, amongst other things, for burning and desecrating the Quran at demonstrations in areas with large minority ethnic populations.

Such action could have resulted in criminal charges in Denmark as recently as 2017, when the country abolished a long-standing blasphemy law.

But in the run up to Wednesday's vote Paludan looked on course to be able to voice his views in parliament.

As the votes were counted his party straddled the crucial two percent mark throughout the night. At one point it seemed they would have enough votes to make it into parliament but as the ballots in urban areas began to add up Stram Kurs percentage of the vote dipped below two percent.

They finished on 1.8 percent.

Denmark uses an electoral system of proportional representation to divvy out its 179 seats (normally referred to as mandates in Danish).

Set at 2 percent, parties who receive a lower national share of the vote than this threshold do not qualify for parliamentary representation.

Denmark’s established centre-right parties had largely disavowed Stram Kurs, which says that it won’t support either Lars Løkke Rasmussen or Mette Frederiksen for prime minister. Paludan instead supported himself as PM.

But Wednesday's results confirmed that he will simply remain a provocative figure on the fringes of Danish politics.



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