Danish Prime Minister Calls Early Elections
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) _ Prime Minister Poul Schlueter on Tuesday called an unscheduled parliamentary election for Sept. 8.
″The four coalition partners will seek a mandate to continue the government’s economic policy,″ Schlueter, a Conservative, told the Folketing, Denmark’s parliament.
A majority of representatives in the 179-member legislature approved Schlueter’s decision to hold the election Sept. 8 rather than the previously scheduled date of Jan. 9, 1988.
Since it succeeded a Social Democratic government in 1982, Schlueter’s coalition has carried out a tight fiscal policy that includes zero growth in public spending, higher taxation and export incentives.
On Monday the government outlined its 1988 draft finance bill and said its managememt of the economy was a success. The main opposition party, the Social Democrats, rejected the claim.
Social Democratic finance spokesman Mogens Camre accused the government of ″hiding a number of unpleasant facts,″ including a budget deficit and continued high unemployment.
Besides the economy, election issues are likely to include defense spending and immigration quotas. Denmark is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
After the last national election in January 1984, the Folketing was divided into two main blocs. The minority coalition comprising Schlueter’s Conservatives, Liberals, Center Democrats and the Christian People’s Party had 77 seats and relied on the support of the 10-seat centrist Radical Liberal Party.
The Social Democrats, Denmark’s biggest party, and the leftist People’s Socialists and Left Socialist Party had a total of 82.
The rightist anti-tax Progress Party had six seats, and the semi- independent territories of Greenland and the Faeroe Islands had two each.