Denmark election delivers first woman PM
DENMARK: Denmark's centre-left was on Friday celebrating victory, and
the country's first woman prime minister, after narrowly winning a
general election to end a decade in opposition.
"We did it!" opposition leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt, 44, told
ecstatic supporters, as final results showed her bloc had won Thursday's
With all the votes from mainland Denmark counted, it was clear the
centre-left bloc headed by Thorning-Schmidt had taken 89 seats in
Denmark's 179-seat parliament against 86 for exiting Prime Minister Lars
Loekke Rasmussen's centre-right government and parliamentary supporters.
As the results became clear, her supporters went wild, dancing away
to James Brown's "I Feel Good" and waving posters of her smiling face.
Cars honked their horns as they drove past the election party venue,
and in Europe's bicycle capital, many supporters on two wheels rang
their bells to hail Thorning-Schmidt, the elegant, blond daughter-in-law
of former British Labour party leader Neil Kinnock.
Not far away, the atmosphere at the election party held for
Rasmussen's Liberal Party was less cheerful.
"Earlier this evening I called Helle Thorning-Schmidt. I
congratulated her and told her she now has the chance to form a new
government," Rasmussen, 47, told his disappointed supporters.
Rasmussen, whose formation remained the country's biggest and gained
a seat from the 2007 election, to 47, insisted his opponent's government
would not last.
"This evening I hand the keys to the prime minister's office to Helle
Thorning-Schmidt," he said, before adding: "Dear Helle, look after the
keys, because you're only borrowing them."
He was expected to submit his resignation to Queen Margrethe later
A total of 90 seats are needed for an absolute majority in the
Four seats reserved for Denmark's autonomous territories Greenland
and the Faroe Islands had yet to be officially tallied and were not yet
included in the score, though they were unlikely to reverse the results,
according to observers. AFP