The Social Democratic Leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt has been appointed Denmark’s first woman prime minister after informing Queen Margrethe that she is able to form an administration after 16 days of negotiations in the wake of Sept. 15 general elections.
The list of government ministers is not expected to be made public until Monday, and the government platform will not be made officially public until a news conference to be held at the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday.
The three parties of the new centre-left government – the Social Democrats, Social Liberals and the Socialist People’s Party - have 77 seats in Parliament, but with the support of the left-wing Red Green Party have a total of 89 seats. The former centre-right Liberal-Conservative government and its supporters have a total of 86 seats in Parliament.
A majority in the 179-seat Folketing is 90 seats, with the final four seats reserved for two seats each for Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Three of these seats are centre-left seats, while one is centre right, assuring the Helle Thorning-Schmidt administration a majority.
The presentation of the government platform and ministers on Monday comes in time for Thorning-Schmidt to hold the prime minister’s speech at the opening of Parliament on Tuesday, as required by the Constitution.
There has been an almost hermetic news blackout on the new government’s platform since post-election negotiations began. Some indications have reached the media in the past few days, however, suggesting that the reform of the early retirement system will remain in place, the 24-year-rule for foreign spouses will remain in place but within a relaxed immigration policy and a climate policy is to be introduced calling for record reduction in CO2 levels.
In all, the new government is expected to have around 23 ministers – 11 of which will have a Social Democratic minister, 6 Social Liberal ministers and 6 Socialist People’s Party ministers.
The leader of the Socialist People’s Party Villy Søvndal is expected to become Foreign Minister in a revamped Foreign Ministry which is said to also include three other ministers – a Europe Minister, A Development Minister and a Foreign Trade Minister.
The leader of the Social Liberal Party Margrethe Vestager is expected to become Minister for Economic Affairs.
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Edited by Julian Isherwood