Did far-right Danish party break rules to qualify for election?

Did far-right Danish party break rules to qualify for election?
Stram Kurs placards at the Danish parliament on the evening of the 2019 general election. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix
The Danish interior ministry could stop extremist far-right party Stram Kurs from gathering election nominations amid suspicions of foul play.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and The Interior says that Stram Kurs (‘Hard Line’ in English) may have broken rules in order to secure the required number of citizens’ nominations to participate in this year’s general election.

Electoral law in Denmark requires 20,000 such nominations or declarations – termed vælgererklæringer in Danish – for a party to be included on ballot papers.

The ministry is to intervene in Stram Kurs' further collection gathering of nominations due to a suspected breach of the law, DR reports.

In doing so, the Ministry will apply for the first time a new law that was passed shortly after the election to prevent circumvention of the rules relating to electoral nominations.

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“At the last election, several parties openly circumvented the rules on voter declarations, but at that time it was not possible to intervene,” Minister of Social Affairs and the Interior Astrid Krag said in a statement.

“We have worked to ensure loopholes in the system are closed and we are now using the new resources which are supported by all of parliament,” Krag added.

According to the law, an electoral board must decide whether to suspend Stram Kurs' collection of citizens’ nominations.

The ministry has instructed the board to make this assessment.

According to the ministry, Stram Kurs used both e-mail addresses that the party was not authorized to use and also reused e-mail addresses within the declaration system.

In the June general election, Stram Kurs were widely tipped to enter parliament but eventually fell short of the 2 percent vote threshold needed for parliamentary representation.

The party is led by Rasmus Paludan, an Islamophobic agitator who has a criminal conviction for inciting racial hatred. Judicial authorities have denied Paludan’s wish to appeal the conviction at the High Court.

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