Denmark - Governance - Political System

Political System

The Folketing is the national parliament, the supreme legislative body of the kingdom. In theory it has the ultimate legislative authority according to the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, it is able to legislate on any matter and not bound by decisions of its predecessors. However questions over sovereignty have been brought forward because of Denmark's entry into the European Union. Parliament consists of 175 members elected by proportional majority, plus two members each from Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Parliamentary elections are held at least every four years, but it is within the powers of the prime minister to ask the monarch to call for an election before the term has elapsed. On a vote of no confidence, the parliament may force a single minister or the entire government to resign.

The Danish political system has traditionally generated coalitions. Most Danish post-war governments have been minority coalitions ruling with the support of non-government parties.

The prime minister is formally appointed by the monarch, on the advice of party leaders following an election or collapse of a government. In practice the prime minister is chosen through negotiation between the parliament party leaders, customarily with the leader of the largest party in a coalition being appointed. Executive authority is exercised on behalf of the monarch by the prime minister and other cabinet ministers who head departments. The cabinet, prime minister and other ministers collectively make up the government of Denmark.

Lars Løkke Rasmussen was the prime minister from April 2009 until September 2011. He headed a right-wing government coalition consisting of Venstre (a conservative liberal party) and the Conservative People's Party, with parliamentary support from the national-conservative Danish People's Party. Following the September 2011 election the right wing lost by a small margin to the opposing left-wing coalition, led by Helle Thorning-Schmidt who on 3 October 2011 formed a new government consisting of the Social Democrats, the Danish Social Liberal Party and the Socialist People's Party. Helle Thorning-Schmidt became the first female prime minister in Denmark.

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Famous quotes containing the words system and/or political:

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