The social democratic Siumut Party has won Tuesday’s general election in Greenland, while voters handed the senior coalition party for the past four years – Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) – a significant defeat.
Official figures reported by Ritzau show Siumut with 42.8 per cent of the vote compared to 26.5 per cent at the last election four years ago, while leftist Inuit Ataqatigiit of incumbent Kuupik Kleist took 34.4 per cent, compared to 43.7 per cent in the 2009 election.
Siumut’s victory was mainly based in outlying regions and smaller settlements, with the two main parties waiting eagerly for results from the capital.
“All the smaller towns and settlements were overwhelmingly for Siumut, so everyone was waiting for results from Nuuk,” says Politiken’s reporter in Greenland Dorrit Saetz. “In Nuuk, IA won. It is still the largest party in the town,” she adds, saying smaller towns, outlying regions, hunters and fishermen had decided the outcome.
Siumut’s Leader Aleqa Hammond, who will now be seeking to form a coalition to become Greenland’s first woman prime minister, said voters had reacted against the previous government’s methods.
“People were unhappy with the type of leadership,” Hammond says according to Sermitsiaq adding: “Too much secrecy surrounding raw material projects, problems for the fishing industry and too little construction outside Nuuk decided the election”.
Hammond is now to discuss the political situation with her party board before beginning coalition-forming negotiations with other parties.
While Kleist’s Inuit Ataqatigiit party saw its following drop almost 10 per cent, other former coalition parties - Kattusseqatigiit Partiiat and the Democrats also saw their following decimated.
Kattusseqatigiit Partiiat failed to cross the 2 per cent electoral barrier and the Democrat Party dropped 6.5 percentage points to land on 6.2 per cent.
Turnout among a Greenland electorate of some 40,000 was said to be higher than at the last election in 2009. Greenland has a population of some 57,000.
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Edited by Julian Isherwood