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Third term but challenges ahead for Danish PM

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Third term but challenges ahead for Danish PM


It is mission accomplished for Denmark’s prime minister who has won a third consecutive mandate. But a rocky road could lie ahead for Anders Fogh Rasmussen despite his election victory. His Liberal-Conservative coalition government won the slimmest possible majority.

Nonetheless, he is pledging to press ahead with campaign promises – notably to cut taxes and keep the flow of asylum-seekers in check. The premier called the poll 15 months earlier than required. Analysts say it was a bid to capitalise on Denmark’s strong economy and 33-year low unemployment.

Party leaders made their traditional post-ballot round table appearance to discuss the results. They were good for the ruling bloc’s far-right ally, the anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party. Rasmussen could also try to strengthen ties with the fledgling New Alliance party. Founded by Syrian-born Dane Naser Khader, it won five seats.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt stayed positive despite defeat for her Social Democrats. Looking to the future, she vowed: “We will do it next time.” She had been in a neck-and-neck race with Rasmussen for most of the campaign, before opinion polls on Tuesday showed the pendulum swinging back his way.

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