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Tuesday, 27 November, 2001, 11:03 GMT
Denmark has new minority government
Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Anders Fogh Rasmussen will lead the government
A minority right-wing coalition has been formed in Denmark, a week after the old Social Democrat-led government was voted from office in a general election.

Liberal Party leader Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced in Copenhagen that, as expected, he had formed an alliance with the Conservatives, which he will lead as prime minister.

Little Mermaid, Copenhagen
Denmark is now expected to tighten immigration rules
The government will have to rely on the support of the far-right Danish People's Party - which has not been given any cabinet seats - or on the Social Democrats, whose election support plummetted.

Senior figures in the new government will incude Liberal Thor Pedersen as finance minister, and Conservative Per Stig Moeller as foreign affairs minister.

Immigration pledge

A new post taking responsibility for refugees, immigrants and integration has been created. Liberal Bertel Haarder has been given the post, which also covers European affairs.

Another new post will cover science, technology and development.

Coalition count
Centre-right coalition - 98 seats
Social Democrat-led coalition - 77 seats
Four other seats set aside for the Danish overseas territories
Mr Rasmussen, 48, was presenting his new government to Queen Margrethe on Tuesday.

He has previously pledged to embark on a programme which will include tightening immigration rules.

The election campaign was dominated by the issue - especially as public fears about immigrants and asylum seekers rocketed in the aftermath of the 11 September attacks.

By the time of the election, two out of three Danes wanted stricter refugee policies. Before 11 September the figure was only one in two.

Ousted leader

The election result ended almost a decade of Social Democrat-led government under Poul Nyrup Rasmussen.

And the Liberals now have more seats than the Social Democrats for the first time since the 1920s.

The election was called by Mr Nyrup Rasmussen in the aftermath of the 11 September attacks, as his popularity temporarily soared.

Correspondents say he assumed that voters would continue to rally behind his leadership in a time of international crisis.

His previous decision to call a snap election, in 1998, paid off and he was narrowly re-elected.

This time the tactic appears to have backfired, and Mr Nyrup Rasmussen - who could have stayed in office until next year - is now leading the opposition instead of the government.

See also:

27 Nov 01 | Europe
Denmark gets tough on immigrants
21 Nov 01 | Europe
Rasmussen v Rasmussen
31 Oct 01 | Europe
Danish PM calls snap election
22 Aug 01 | Europe
Danes criticise immigrant list
09 Nov 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Denmark
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