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Danish PM calls for parliamentary elections on Sept. 15

(Xinhua)

11:18, August 27, 2011

Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen speaks at press briefing at his official residence in Copenhagen, capital of Denmark, Aug. 26, 2011. Rasmussen called on Friday an early parliamentary election in Denmark for September 15, two months ahead of the November 13 deadline set by the national constitution. (Xinhua/Javed Dar)

COPENHAGEN, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen on Friday called an early parliamentary election in Denmark for September 15, two months ahead of the November 13 deadline set by the national constitution.

"In a worldwide debt crisis, the Danes are headed for a clear choice -- uncontrollable debt or lasting welfare," said Rasmussen at a press briefing at the official residence of the Danish Prime Minister, Marienborg.

With less than a month to go, the election is expected to focus mainly on ways to revive the sluggish Danish economy.

"The Liberal Party and the Conservatives is heading for this election with a wish to cooperate... I wish all Danes a good election," Rasmussen said.

Denmark has been in the shadow of the global finance crisis over the past three years. Economic growth had slowed down and reversed to a continuous contraction, with soaring unemployment and public debts, sending approval ratings to the current Liberal-Conservative coalition government to decline.

The government has lately been in tough negotiations with the rightwing Danish People's Party regarding a future stimulus package.

According to political commentators, a breakdown in these negotiations eventually led to the early election.

Latest polls suggested that the current government, which has been in power since 2001, would face a tough challenge from the coalition led by Social Democratic party, along with the with the leftwing Socialist People's Party as well as the center-standing Social Liberal Party.

Under the Danish law, a general election must be held every four year. The prime minister has the power to call an early general election.

The last general election in Denmark was held on Nov. 13, 2007, when the right-wing coalition led by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, leader of the Liberal Party, won 54.2 percent of votes and 94 out of all 179 parliamentary seats.

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