Friday 19 January 2018

Danish leader calls June election

Helle Thorning-Schmidt is the first female prime minister of Denmark
Helle Thorning-Schmidt is the first female prime minister of Denmark

Danish Social Democratic Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has announced that parliamentary elections will be held on June 18.

She said the minority government, whose term ends in September, would not resign before the election but that it was time for voters to have their say on its policies.

"It's the right time to ask Danes whether we should keep the course or if we want experiments by (the opposition)," Ms Thorning-Schmidt told a news conference.

The opposition centre-right bloc, led by former prime minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen, has a four percentage-point lead in recent opinion polls. But Ms Thorning-Schmidt is ahead of Loekke Rasmussen in other polls when it comes to credibility.

A major point of disagreement between the blocs is public spending.

Ms Thorning-Schmidt, who points to 18 months of economic growth, has pledged to raise welfare spending, while the opposition maintains that improvements can be achieved without expanding the public sector.

Ms Thorning-Schmidt - the Scandinavian country's first female prime minister - has been in office since the previous election in 2011.

Her minority coalition has been able to govern with the support of former coalition member, the Social People's Party, and another small left-leaning group.

Press Association

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