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Greenland to hold parliamentary general elections


Greenland to hold parliamentary general elections

Photo: Christian Klindt Soelbeck/Reuters

Greenlanders will head to the polls today to elect the 31 representatives of parliament, known as the Inatsisartut.

Participating are the social democrat Siumut Party, opposition left-green party Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) and five other smaller parties. While Siumut has held power since 1979, this election will be especially challenging for them as internal leadership disputes have divided the party. Additionally, tensions have been exacerbated by the debate over a proposed rare-earth metal mine. Some Siumut proponents say the mine will diversify the Icelandic economy while opponents, especially in IA, believe it will pollute Greenland’s pristine wilderness.

Current polls suggest that IA will likely win a 12-seat plurality with 36% of the vote, ending Siumut’s 42-year hold on power. In order to form a governing coalition, IA will likely turn to the liberal Democrats Party, which quit Siumut’s governing coalition in late 2020 over the party’s support of the mine and is presently expected to win four parliamentary seats. Upon their formation of a coalition, expect IA to block the establishment of the mine and instead focus on the reinforcement of the fishing industry—currently Greenland’s primary industry—as well as the nascent sustainable tourism sector that officials hope will expand post-pandemic.

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