Danish anti-immigration party leader heads for exit after election defeat

Danish People's Party leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl has called for an extraordinary party congress at which he expects his successor to be chosen.
Danish People's Party leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl has called for an extraordinary party congress at which he expects his successor to be chosen.. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix
The leader of the Danish People’s Party Kristian Thulesen Dahl has announced he will call for a party vote on a new leader, in which he will not run for re-election.

Dahl, who has led the right wing party since 2012, is to step down at an extraordinary annual meeting which he requested on Wednesday morning, he said.

The Danish People’s Party flopped badly in the local elections, losing over half of their vote share from 2017 going from 8.75 percent to 4.08 percent. That represents the party’s third consecutive election failure after poor performances the 2019 general election and EU elections.

Dahl said early on Wednesday that he would move for an extraordinary annual meeting at which a new leader could be elected.

Asked if he would run in a leadership contest, Dahl said “no, it’s clear that if an annual meeting is summoned, that’s a situation that is meant to enable a fresh start”.

He also said he expected the party committee to follow his request and call the extraordinary meeting, paving the way for a new leader to be chosen.

“We need to get out of the dead water we have been in for the last couple of years. We need to win back contact to the voters who can vote for the Danish People’s Party,” he said.

In addition to poor election results, the party has been beset by internal conflict over policy in recent months with former leader Pia Kjærsgaard, who founded Danish People’s Party with Dahl in the 1990s, levelling thinly-veiled criticism at her successor.

READ ALSO: Where did it go wrong for the populist Danish People’s Party?


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