Liberal party leader, Lars Lokke Rasmussen was appointed Danish prime minister earlier today. Following the refusal of the Danish People’s Party and others to join his government, he only enjoys minority support in parliament and will have to rely on ‘vote by vote’ negotiations to pass laws.
Reuters reports that while Venstre, Denmark’s Liberal Party, was one of a number of centre-right parties that won the 18 June general election, the party itself had its worst results in a quarter of a century and was unable to form a broad coalition.
The eurosceptic Danish People’s Party (Dansk Folkparti, DF) refused to join the government despite winning its best election result yet, coming second overall to the left-wing Social Democrats and becoming the largest party on the right in parliament. It held out on demands including a referendum on whether Denmark should remain in the European Union, spending increases and curbs on immigration.
It is not all bad news for DF voters. Rasmussen appointed fellow Liberal politician Claus Frederiksen as finance minister, a position he held from April 2009 to October 2011. Reuters reports Frederiksen is known to have a good working relationship with DF.
With 34 of 179 seats in parliament, this is the second smallest government formed in Denmark’s history and pundits doubt it will see out a full term. Only one government in Denmark’s history has had fewer members in parliament. That cabinet which came to power with 22 seats in 1973 lasted 14 months.