Denmark's opposition split widens as 'written promise' demanded for support of Social Democrats
The two parties have governed in coalition in the past, but the Social Democrats, led by Mette Frederiksen, stated earlier this year that they would seek to form a minority government without including other parties on Denmarkâs left, should they win enough seats at next yearâs general election.
That would still require the cooperation of the Social Liberals, however, as the support of the smaller party would likely be required to secure a parliamentary majority.
Social Liberal leader Morten Ãstergaard said he would only be prepared to support his erstwhile ally in this manner if guarantees were provided on policy on areas including immigration, which has been a primary source of discord on Denmarkâs left in recent months.
âBefore our parliamentary support can be counted on, there must be a political agreement that w ill ensure we donât just get a new government, but also a new political direction for Denmark,â Ãstergaard said to newspaper Berlingske.
âThat direction must be significantly different from the one we will see if the Danish Peopleâs Party is part of a new government. The guarantee must provide for the direction the government would take in order for us to support it,â the Social Liberal leader said.
Should Frederiksen decline to make such an agreement, she will not be able to count on the support of the Social Liberal party, Ãstergaard said.
The centre-left Social Liberals currently have eight of the 179 seats at Denmarkâs Christiansborg parliament.
Nicolai Wammen, political spokesperson with the Social Democrats, rejected Ãstergaardâs call for a guarantee.
âMorten Ãstergaard must justify for himself whether he really wants to push for a new political direction that would attempt to change immigration polici es supported by 80 percent of Danes and parliament,â Wammen said in reference to the combined parliamentary share of the Social Democrats and the four parties on the right.
Wammen did not confirm whether the Social Democrats would be prepared to govern with the nationalist Danish Peopleâs Party or other conservatives, should Ãstergaard withdraw his support.
READ ALSO: Social Democrats go it alone in break with allies over immigrationSource: Google News Denmark | Netizen 24 Denmark