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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Danish prime minister presents new government

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Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen has presented a three-party majority coalition that crosses the left-right divide and includes the leader of the Liberal Party and a former PM in key jobs.

It was the first time in 44 years that such a centrist government had been formed, bringing an end to the two blocs that have opposed each other for decades.

Liberal leader Jakob Ellemann-Jensen became defence minister while former prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen — who once headed the Liberals but left it to create the centrist Moderate party that wanted to bridge the centre gap — was put in charge of foreign affairs.

The government will have 23 ministries, of which Ms Frederiksen’s Social Democrats get 11 offices while the Liberals get seven and the Moderates five. There are eight women and 15 men.

The new governing coalition was announced late on Tuesday after 42 days of talks following the November 1 general elections.

The three parties control 89 seats in the 179-seat parliament and are also supported by the four lawmakers representing the semi-independent Danish territories of Greenland and the Faeroe Islands.

The last time Denmark was governed by a centrist coalition was in 1978 when the Social Democrats teamed up with the Liberals. That lasted eight months.

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