Greenland’s Prime Minister Kuupik Kleist has announced general elections in Greenland for March 12.
Rumours of a pending announcement began on Wednesday when Kleist called a news conference without naming any particular subject. Elections had to be called before June 2 this year.
Greenland’s current government is a coalition of Kleist’s socialist Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) party, the social liberal Democrats and the centrist independent Candidate League.
The election comes at a time when Greenland is embroiled in controversy surrounding a new Large-scale Law which has been carried by the Greenland legislature and is designed to open up large-scale mining activities to international companies.
The law, which would allow companies investing more than DKK5 billion in Greenland to carry on their activities under favourable conditions, must be sanctioned by the Folketing in Copenhagen in order for it to come into force.
The Folketing is due to debate the law soon, but Denmark’s Liberal Party has suggested a time-out on introducing the law in order for more extensive discussions on the issue to take place. The Danish Social Democratic-led government has said that it supports the Greenland move.
The March 12 election pits Kleist’s coalition against an opposition of the Social Democratic Siumut Party and the Liberal Attasut Party as well as a new centrist party – Partii Inuit, which is calling for a referendum on the Large-scale Law before it can come into effect.
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Edited by Julian Isherwood