An election has been called in Greenland for November 28, less than two years after Aleqa Hammond and her Siumut party regained control after a short, one term absence. Acting premier Kim Kielsen announced the upcoming vote late yesterday.
Hammond had moments earlier stepped down in the wake of a financial scandal for her use of public funds to pay for private expenses.
Four ministers had already quit
Hammond’s fragile coalition government fell apart after four ministers – all members of her own party – quit over the way her case was being handled. Coalition partner Atassut withdrew its support, and the die for a new election was cast.
“Whatever the outcome of the investigation, it will not change the fact that the national treasury has been used as a line of credit in several cases,” read the joint statement from two of the ministers.
“When one can no longer recognise their values in decisions being made, it is time to step down.”
Slipping in the polls
Hammond and her government had been slipping in the polls as Greenlanders became deeply divided over what many saw as her aggressive, growth-based policies, including an eventual break from the Danish crown.
Hammond has said that a review by the legislature’s audit committee will exonerate her of any wrongdoing in the use of 106,000 kroner of public money for private hotel visits and flights for family members. She has admitted that the funds were used, but attributed it to an accounting error by a staff member and not deliberate malfeasance.