Greenland’s Leftist IA party wins parliamentary elections but still needs coalition to form government

Nuuk, April 7 2021: Inuit Ataqatigiit, a left wing environmentalist party contested and won parliamentary elections against Siumut, a social democratic party and the dominant political actor in the autonomous Danish region.

“Thank you to the people who trusted us to work with the people in the center for the next four years,” IA leader Mute Egede said on public television after the results were announced. The 34-year-old, who has been a member of the IA since 2015, became the leader of the left green party 2 years ago.

The party which was formerly in the opposition, is expected to grab 12 out of the 31 seats in the local parliament, up from eight currently. But without an absolute majority, the most likely scenario is that IA joins forces with smaller parties to form a coalition.

Internal struggles had recently weakened the outgoing Siumut party. The dividing line between the two parties was whether to authorize a controversial giant rare earth and uranium mining project, which is currently the subject of public hearings. The Kuannersuit deposit, in the island’s south, is considered one of the world’s richest in uranium and rare earth minerals used as components in everything from smartphones to electric cars and weapons.

The winning party IA has called for a moratorium on uranium mining, which would effectively put a halt to the project. Opponents say the project, led by the Chinese-owned Australian group Greenland Minerals, has too many environmental risks, including radioactive waste.

Egede told the national broadcaster he would immediately start discussions to “explore different forms of cooperation” before forming a coalition government.

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