Thursday, September 15, 2005

Danish People's Party: Government power within decade

The DPP (Dansk folkeparti) was instrumental in opening up the debate about Muslim immigration five years ago, and in pushing for stricter immigration rules in Denmark. They have been supporting PM Rasmussen's Liberal party (Venstre) and his centre-right coalition, but not been a part of the government themselves:

Kjærsgaard: government power within decade

Ambition and confidence are not lacking for the Danish People's Party's leader, Pia Kjærsgaard, as she prepares for the party's convention in Odense. From being labelled 'improper' by the former Social Democratic prime minister, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, the Danish People's Party (DF) has come to assume a central position in Danish politics during its ten years of existence. The party achieved notoriety during the 1990s for taking the hard-line on immigration and for demanding tighter immigration restrictions. Kjærsgaard, who has a reputation for controlling party affairs with an iron hand, predicted DF would be able to acquire government power within the next decade. 'We had all the odds against us. It has been a tough fight considering the insults and criticism we have encountered. But we have to say that it has turned around. That's the way politics is: It's the votes that count.' She left the door open, however, as to whether the party would continue to ally itself with the Liberals or switch to the Social Democrats in order to form a government.

Danish People’s Party in bed with Social Democrats

The leader of the Danish People's Party, Pia Kjærsgaard, has announced that her party could form a government with the Social Democrats. The centre-right party leader has told media that she could quite conceivably see herself in a coalition government with the new leader of the Social Democrats Helle Thorning-Scmidt as Prime Minister. The Danish People's Party would demand that Kristian Thulesen Dahl was the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Peter Skaarup the Minster of Justice. Pia Kjærdgaard also categorically denounced any intention of her party ever being part of a Liberal-Conservative coalition. The political spokesperson for the Social Democrats', Lotte Bundsgaard told reporters that they do not intend to form a government with the Danish People's Party. The Social Democrats do not intend to replace their traditional coalition partners the Social Liberals, she added. Bundsgaard said that they would be willing to work with the Danish Peoples Party after the next election, but only if they were willing to change their political direction.


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