Denmark PM calls party heads' meeting as government support hangs in balance

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 23, 2016 4:02 PM

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen called a meeting on Tuesday night of party leaders who back his minority government to assess whether he has enough support in parliament to stay in office, after one party withdrew support for his environment minister.

Rasmussen, who heads the Liberals, wrote on Twitter that he had called a meeting to see "if the government retains a majority to be the government".

The Conservatives, who support Rasmussen's government in parliament, said on Tuesday they could no longer back Environment and Food Minister Eva Kjer Hansen after she was accused of misleading the house over the environmental impact of a series of planned agricultural reforms.

The Conservatives say that they support the legislation but not the minister and that Rasmussen therefore needs to fire her or face losing their support in parliament, meaning he may have to call fresh elections.

As a result, Hansen is expected to become the second minister to quit since Rasmussen formed his minority government after an election last June.

The Liberals hold only 34 seats in the 179-seat parliament, but they are supported by the Conservatives with six seats, the Danish People's Party with 37 and the Liberal Alliance with 13.

(Reporting by Ole Mikkelsen; Editing by Hugh Lawson)