Greenland will hold general elections on April 6, after the island’s coalition government has collapsed due to tensions between its constituent parties.
Four opposition parties, with a large majority in the Greenlandic Parliament, managed to force the election on Tuesday after a lengthy debate.
Tensions in the governing coalition in Greenland and its main party, the Siumut Social Democratic Party, have been felt for some time.
In November, Greenlandic Prime Minister Kim Kielsen was removed as leader of the Siumut, although he remained at the head of the island’s government, a position he has held since 2014. The new leader of the political party, Erik Jensen, has failed gather enough support to become prime minister several times.
The internal struggles in Siumut have contributed to a coalition party, the Democrats – with 31 seats – deciding to abandon it, which has led to the loss of the absolute majority of the Government.
Democrats supported the motion to advance the elections together with other major Greenlandic opposition parties, among which the Inuit Ataqatigiit party stands out, a leftist and pro-independence political party that leads the polls ahead of the election.
Kielsen, who will continue as acting prime minister, has thanked political parties for his support over the past two years, stressing that it has been “necessary to respect the political majority”, as reported by the Greenlandic network KNR.
Elections in Greenland take place every four years and were not scheduled until 2022. In addition, municipal elections will take place on April 6.
Greenland, with a population of about 57,000, has been a self-governing territory of Denmark since 2009, although Denmark is still in charge of the island’s foreign affairs, defense and financial system. The main economic activity is fishing and the territory receives an annual subsidy from Denmark. The island also has rare minerals.