Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen 

Danish Prime Minister returns to power

Denmark is preparing for the prime minister's return after the center-left secured the most votes in a general election of the Scandinavian nation. Mette Frederiksen's "red bloc" of parties secured 90 seats to form a government despite a scandal over the mass killing of mink.

By Stefan J. Bos 

In the nail-biter vote, two different vote count projections by Denmark's main broadcasters doubted until the last moment whether her ruling left-wing bloc would win. 

But after all ballots were counted, Prime Minister Frederiksen secured their most substantial backing in over two decades. 

The outcome came despite criticism of Frederiksen's tenure for centralizing power. 

The 44-year-old married mother of two was also criticized over her controversial decision to cull all mink during the Coronavirus pandemic. That led to the resignation of agriculture minister Mogens Jensen and an official investigation into the policy. 

An official report into the case found that the government's order to kill up to 17 million mink in 2020 has no legal basis. At the time, there were fears that a mutated form of coronavirus found in mink could hamper the search for a coronavirus vaccine.

But in its report, the so-called Mink Commission said the prime minister's remarks were "grossly misleading" to both mink breeders and the public. Though Frederiksen was found not to have known that the order was illegal, the report rattled her coalition. 

Turbulent coalition 

One of the coalition parties even threatened to withdraw its support for the government if she did not call a general election. That led to the resignation of agriculture minister Mogens Jensen, as well as the launch of an inquiry into whether the government had known the legal framework was missing when the culling order was made.

But that seemed all forgotten for a moment as the prime minister declared victory. “Dear Denmark, I am so thrilled and proud. We have gotten the best election result in 20 years," Frederiksen told supporters in Copenhagen, the capital. 

“Thanks to all Danes who have trusted us with your vote. It's a massive vote of confidence. I know some of you have had doubts along the way,” she added in her speech which was interrupted by loud applause.

She must now show that she can govern the Scandinavian nation despite political divisions. 

The Moderates also made significant gains in the election, becoming the third-biggest party in Denmark. That was remarkable as they did not even exist five months ago. 

But their claimed moderate voice may not be heard in government this time as they will not play the role of kingmaker in the next government.

03 November 2022, 17:19