Greenland’s ruling Siumut Party has retained a narrow majority in snap parliamentary elections that took place 18 months before they were scheduled.
Early results on Saturday showed that the centre-left party gained 34.3 per cent of the vote ahead of the left-leaning opposition Inuit Atagatigiit, which claimed 33.2 per cent of the votes. The results also indicate that the two parties won 11 seats apiece in the autonomous region’s 31-seat parliament.
The elections were called in October after former prime minister Aleqa Hammond was caught up in a misuse of public funds scandal. Hammond then resigned as the Siumut Party leader after the government coalition Atassut conservative party withdrew and two key ministers stepped down because of the alleged misuse.
Greenland is reliant on a US$600m annual grant from Denmark, its former colonial ruler. But Hammond vowed before being elected as prime minister in April last year that she would steer it towards independence.
Acting Prime Minister Kim Kielsen is now likely to push for coalition talks given that his ruling party gains more votes. Greenland’s next government will face a number of key challenges, not least how to diversify the economy and increase revenues in the tourism and fishing industries.