Social Democrats take power in Denmark

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-06 21:10:13|Editor: xuxin
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STOCKHOLM, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Denmark's opposition Social Democrats party and their leader Mette Frederiksen celebrated overnight after the outcome of the country's general election became clear, Danish news TV2 reported on Thursday.

"This was an election that was about welfare and after tonight we'll put welfare first again," Frederiksen was quoted as saying in TV2's report.

"This is an historically great victory," Frederiksen said in a speech, adding that "You have chosen Denmark to have a new direction."

At 41, Frederiksen will be Denmark's youngest ever prime minister and its second female leader.

The Social Democrats won 25.9 percent of the vote and 91 of 179 seats in parliament.

Incumbent Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, who led the Liberal Party (Venstre), has conceded defeat and said he will visit Denmark's queen at 11 a.m. on Thursday (1000 GMT) to dissolve the current government.

Although the Venstre gained an additional 4 percent of the vote compared to the last general election, it wasn't enough to make up for the stunning losses suffered by the Danish People's Party on which the center-right coalition has relied on for support.

The results suggest Danish voters have lost interest in the hard-line anti-immigration policies of the Danish People's Party.

A new right-wing extremist party, Hard Line (Stram Kurs), founded in 2017 by Danish lawyer Rasmus Paludan, won 1.79 percent of the vote. While the Danish People's Party suffered the biggest losses on election night, it was the Radical Left that saw the greatest gains.

Frederiksen admits, however, that negotiating the formation of a new government will be a complex task.

"I think it will be difficult, because we are many parties who would like to have influence," said Frederiksen, adding that "when the Danes clearly opt out of the blue block, we have a very special obligation to make it work."

Final results were announced on Thursday morning, with more than 3.5 million votes counted less than 24 hours after ballot boxes opened on Wednesday morning. According to Statistics Denmark, 84.54 percent of eligible voters cast a vote.