Samuelsen quits as Liberal Alliance leader after election trouncing

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Samuelsen quits as Liberal Alliance leader after election trouncing
Anders Samuelsen announcing his resignation to press. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard / Ritzau Scanpix

Outgoing foreign minister Anders Samuelsen has resigned as Liberal Alliance party leader and will leave Danish politics, he said on Thursday.


After an awful election for the libertarian party, a junior partner in the outgoing coalition government, Samuelsen’s position had become untenable.

Wednesday’s general election saw Liberal Alliance (LA) lose 9 of its 13 seats -- including Samuelsen's own spot -- reducing it to the smallest party in parliament.

Samuelsen announced his resignation at a press conference on Thursday.

“Victory has many fathers, but defeat has only one. I’m the one at the forefront of the party, and I accept responsibility. I am therefore resigning as leader of Liberal Alliance after ten fantastic years,” he said.

The resignation was a "definitive goodbye" to Danish politics, he confirmed.

The outgoing leader said he backed current deputy Simon Emil Amitzbøll-Bille to take over as leader.

As a first-time coalition partner, LA’s time in government was particularly damaged by its failure to fulfil promises to force through tax cuts for high-end earners.

After threatening to vote against the budget at one stage, Samuelsen eventually blinked in a standoff with other government parties and allies on the issue.

“I accept complete responsibility for decisions I have made on behalf of the party that have led to defeat,” he said.

A number of other LA parliamentarians – including Joachim B. Olsen, who last month hit headlines for placing an election ad on a pornography website – also lost their seats due to the defeat.

Christina Egelund and Laura Lindahl are also among the Liberal Alliance politicians who will not be returning to parliament.

READ ALSO: What we learned: Seven things to know about the Danish election result


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