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Danish Conservative leader confirms plan to become prime minister

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Danish Conservative leader confirms plan to become prime minister
Danish Conservative party leader Søren Pape Poulsen announces he will run as a prime ministerial candidate. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Søren Pape Poulsen, the leader of Denmark’s Conservative party, said on Monday that that he will run in the next election as a candidate to become prime minister.

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Poulsen’s declaration on Monday means there are now two leaders from right wing parties in Denmark with an expressed aim of securing backing as prime minister following the next general election. The other is the Liberal (Venstre) party leader, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen.

“We must look out for Denmark, our values and identity. I will be running for election on this platform and I will do so as a prime ministerial candidate,” Poulsen said.

The announcement by the Conservative leader disrupts the established order in the ‘bloc’ system which usually prevails in Danish politics.

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The ‘bloc’ classification commonly broadly denotes whether parties are right or left of centre.

Recent decades have seen the ‘blue bloc’ parties work together in parliament to back the leader of the Liberal party, currently Ellemann-Jensen, to be prime minister if they command a majority after a general election.

Poulsen’s announcement on Monday puts this into doubt, because it means smaller right-wing parties will have to decide who they would ultimately back to be prime minister.

The ‘red bloc’ will usually support the Social Democratic leader to become PM, as is currently the case with Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

“When I put my name forward it is because I think I have what it takes and that I am the best person for (the job),” Poulsen said.

“The most important thing is to get a conservative government and remove Mette Frederiksen. I think voters can take a position on two candidates. I think it’s completely fair to have two conservative candidates,” he said.

The next election in Denmark must take place no later than June 4th next year, but recent speculation has suggested Frederiksen is likely to call an election as soon as this autumn.

A recent Voxmeter poll for news wire Ritzau gave the Liberal party 13.4 points, compared to 13.3 points for the Conservatives. The poll gave an overall conservative majority.

READ ALSO: How likely is Denmark to have a general election ahead of schedule?

 

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