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REGIONAL JOURNALISM, GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE.

Politics

Former Greenland premier leaves party in frustration

Hans Enoksen quits ruling Siumut over differences of opinion with party he led for eight years
Politics
Thinking of better days, perhaps (Photo: Lieff Josefsen)

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Former Greenland premier Hans Enoksen is leaving that country’s leading Siumut party after on-going differences of opinion with its current leadership, reports public broadcaster KNR.

“Siumut has taken fishermen’s identities away and taken fishing quotas from them. That’s been a big financial blow for them, and it’s something that I won’t be a part of. For that reason, I have decided today that I am leaving Siumut,” Enoksen said.

He has not made any statement about which party, if any, he will join, although he told KNR that he now considered himself to be a member of the opposition.

Enoksen told Greenlandic news organisation Sermitsiaq, which also operates The Arctic Journal, that other members of Siumut were on the verge of leaving the party.

“I’m not alone,” he said.

Enoksen, 57, led Greenland’s Home Rule government between 2002 and 2009. A member of the party since 1995, in 2001 he took over the helm of the party that ruled Greenland between 1979 and 2009.

The announcement comes amid accusations of nepotism after the country’s Ministry for Hunting, Fishing and Agriculture hired the domestic partner of Aleqa Hammond, the premier, as a special consultant.

The decision, according to KNR, was one of Enoksen’s motivations for leaving the party.

It was not possible to obtain a comment from Hammond.

Enoksen was also at odds with his party during parliament’s historic vote in October to overturn the country’s ban on uranium mining. Hammond spearheaded efforts to end the ban, but Enoksen voted against the measure, which ended up passing by a single vote.

Enkosen reportedly cast the final vote, waiting to do so until he was certain the measure would pass.

“It would have been strange if I was responsible for the party I had led for eight years losing a vote,” Enoksen said at the time.

Enoksen voted against the measure out of concern that residents had not been involved in the decision-making process.

After the vote, he was congratulated by members of the opposition.

According to Greenlandic newspaper Sermitsiaq, other members of Siumut are reportedly considering leaving the party.