Villy Søvndal resigns as foreign minister
Villy Søvndal (SF) has withdrawn as the foreign minister for health reasons, the Foreign Ministry announced today. He will also give up his position as a member of parliament.
Søvndal underwent an operation in October after suffering from a blood clot in his heart, and was expected to return to work on December 20.
A medical examination yesterday showed that while Søvndal had recovered, it would be unrealistic for him to continue as foreign minister due to the workload and travel the post involves.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed being the foreign minister,” Søvndal stated in a press release. “It has been a privilege to work everyday with big global issues and the way they impact Denmark and Danes.”
“I have tried to develop a network around the world through the travels I have been on," he added. "It has been a pleasure and privilege to work together with the many lovely and competent people in the Foreign Ministry.”
Second major resignation
Søvndal's resignation is another significant setback for the government after the resignation yesterday of Justice Minister Morten Bødskov (S) after he admitted to lying to parliament.
The government is expected to announce a major cabinet reshuffle as early as tomorrow to fill the empty seats, with Defence Minister Nicolai Wammen (S) and Food Minister Karen Hækkerup (S) being the most mentioned frontrunners for the justice minister post.
TV2 News reports that Tax Minister Holger K Nielsen (SF) is the most likely candidate to become the next foreign minister.