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Liberals form one-party minority government

DANISH NEWS - Lars Løkke Rasmussen forms a narrow government 10 days after winning just 34 seats at the General Election. Esben Lunde Larsen new Minister for Education and Research.

After a week of trying to put together a coalition, the Liberal leader acknowledged defeat, Friday, and announced that the centre-right parties had given him the go-ahead to form a Liberal-only government that will have to rely heavily on outside support on a vote by vote basis. This is according to and other media.

Only one government in Danish history, in 1973, had fewer members in parliament, with 22 seats, and that lasted just 14 months.

Mr Løkke Rasmussen said he was confident of support in parliament, before presenting his new cabinet to Queen Margrethe.

DF: Listen to DF

Kristian Jensen, who at one point last year was widely expected to take over Liberal leadership when Mr Rasmussen was hit by an expenses scandal, was named foreign minister.

The Danish People’s Party (DF), EU-sceptic and right wing in most aspects of its policies, refused to join the government despite winning its best election result yet and becoming the largest party on the right in parliament. Party leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl said:

“If you’re a minority government and you’re not ready to listen, you’re going to have a hard time. If you’re willing to listen, especially to the DPP (DF), then you’ll have the opportunity to have a reasonable and stable government.”

Likely new election before term

According to media sources, Mr Thulesen Dahl had refused to back down on his demand for further restrictions on immigration and a referendum on whether Denmark should stay in the European Union.

Political watcher Martin Larsen of Copenhagen University, said it’s ‘extremely likely’ that an election will be called before the four-year period is over as, on average, one-party governments sit for no more than two-and-a-half years.

“It opens up the possibility of broad, across the aisle legislation without the government, which would make life difficult for the prime minister,” he said.

New education minister to work on Study Progress Reform

Prime Minister presented his new cabinet to Queen Margethe, Sunday – 17 new ministers representing 50 per cent of the Liberals’ parliamentary representation.

New Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen will also assume responsibility for development aid, while former defence minister Søren Gade, seen as a potential rival to Lars Løkke Rasmussen, has been bypassed.

For universities, the most interesting minister is the new Minister of Education and Research: Esben Lunde Larsen. To TV2 news the new minister said that the first thing that he will start work on as a minister is the controversial Study Progress Reform, that was designed to speed up students’ graduation times.

Here is the list of ministers:

Prime Minister: Lars Løkke Rasmussen
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Development: Kristian Jensen
Finance Minister: Claus Hjort Frederiksen
Justice Minister: Søren Pind
Business and Growth Minister: Troels Lund Poulsen
Tax Minister: Karsten Lauritzen
Immigration and Housing Minister: Inger Støjberg
Minister for Employment: Jørn Neergaard Larsen
Minister for Culture and Ecclesiastical Affairs: Bertel Haarder
Minister for Transport and Buildings: Hans Christian Schmidt
Environment and Agriculture Minister: Eva Kjer Hansen
Social Minister and Minister of the Interior: Karen Ellemann
Energy and Climate Minister: Lars Christian Lilleholt
Minister for Children, Education and Equality: Ellen Trane Nørby
Minister of Health and Care for the Elderly: Sophie Løhde
Minister of Education and Research: Esben Lunde Larsen
Minister of Defence, with responsibility for Nordic Affairs Carl Holst

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