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The coalition of the willing

Three pro-uranium parties have agreed to form Greenland’s next government
To the victors go the flowers (Photo: Facebook)

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When Greenland’s next government gets down to business next week, it will not be spending its time bickering over uranium.

Siumut, the largest vote-getter in Friday’s general election, announced today that it would form a government together with Demokraatit and Atassut, both pro-uranium mining parties.

The surprise announcement comes just four days into negotiations to form the next coalition. Most election watchers had expected Siumut to form a government wither either Partii Naleraq, a newly formed party that has an nearly identical platform, or with IA, Siumut’s typical rival, but whcih earned the same number of seats in Inatsisartut, the national assembly.

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With IA and Siumut finishing neck-and-neck in the election, the popular sentiment had been that the two parties should form a grand coalition in order to avoid the divisiveness that dogged the previous government.

Siumut, which has 11 seats, will lead a 17-seat coalition. It was expected that Atassut, which earned two seats, would partner with Siumut, but Demokraatit, which will have four seats, has long been an IA ally.

Today’s announcement came after Hans Enoksen, Partii Naleraq’s leader, on Tuesday expressed frustration over the course of negotiations with Kim Kielsen, Siumut’s leader, over the course of negotiations.

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Partii Naleraq, like IA, has called for a national referendum to determine whether Greenland should permit uranium mining. The Siumut-led government spearheaded efforts to end Greenland’s moratorium on uranium mining last year, and Enoksen identified the issue as one of the stumbling blocks between the two parties.

“We’ve been handed a list of demands that we can’t accept,” Enoksen said today. “We won’t be part of something that would require us to go back on what we campaigned on.”

The new cabinet is expected to be named by the end of next week and Inatsisartut will then be able to resume its autumn session, which was suspended a day after opening on September 30 in connection with the resignation of Aleqa Hammond as premier.