Kuupik Kleist steps down as head of Greenland’s Inuit Ataqatigiit party

Former premier says it is time for new blood

Kuupik Kleist, Greenland’s former premier and the head of the Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) party, announced yesterday that he is stepping down as his party’s boss.

“After about 30 years of work in the party and the national organisation, I have decided to withdraw as head of IA,” Kleist told Greenlandic broadcaster KNR.

Kleist said that political developments in Greenland and IA spurred his decision to resign.

“The events we have witnessed over the past year along with the unstable political situation require that IA be prepared for any situation, and we must make the necessary decisions.”

Although no-one has announced officially that they will seek Kleist’s spot, the former premier said that he is leaving the party “in good hands”.

New times, new blood
A new party head will be elected at the IA general assembly on 30 May. Aqqaluaq B Egede will be acting head until then.

“It is up to the assembly to elect a new leader,” Egede told KNR. “We have many good candidates.”

Egede is a favourite among pundits to succeed Kleist, who served as the fourth premier of Greenland’s home rule government between 2009 and 2013. Kleist was the first premier not affiliated to Siumut (S), Greenland’s other major political party. He was defeated by Aleqa Hammond (S) in last year’s election.

Although he is stepping down as head of IA, Kleist will keep his spot in Greenland’s parliament.