politics

Social Democrats Edge Socialist Rivals in Greenland Vote

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The social-democratic Siumut party of outgoing prime minister Kim Kielsen won the most votes in parliamentary elections held in Greenland, a scarcely populated dependency of Denmark rich in untapped natural resources.

Final results Wednesday showed Siumut receiving 27.2 percent of the nearly 30,000 votes cast, down from 34.3 percent in the 2014 elections, according to Valg.gl, a website run by the Home Rule government in Nuuk.

Siumut’s main rival, the socialist Inuit Ataqatigiit party of Sara Olsvig, came second with 25.5 percent. Just 481 votes separated the two parties, which have been governing the world’s biggest island in a coalition.

The opposition social-liberal Democrats party made the biggest advance, getting 19.5 percent of the vote, up from 11.8 percent four years ago.

As the head of the biggest party, Kielsen is now set to lead talks on forming a new government.

“All will be allowed to get in” on the coalition talks, Kielsen was quoted as saying by Danish newspaper Politiken.

With weak commodity prices having forced Greenlanders to postpone their dreams of full independence, this election has focused on more pressing concerns such as a shortage of social housing and a high school drop-out rate.

(Updates with final results, adds quote in sixth paragraph.)
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