Greenlanders stayed away from the polls in Danish General Election

Only half of the eligible voters in Greenland bothered to vote in last week’s general election

Just 50 percent of Greenland’s voters cast a ballot in the general election last week – the lowest turnout on the island since 1990.

“There is no doubt we have a major democratic problem,” Sara Olsvig, the chairperson of IA, the largest Greenlandic party in parliament, told Sermitsiaq, Greenland’s largest newspaper.

“This was an election with several issues crucial to Greenland being considered, and the turnout was below 50 percent. Everyone must take the situation seriously.”

Greenlandic voters are traditionally not as interested in elections as Danes. The lowest turnout recorded came in 1987, when only 45 percent of Greenlanders voted.

A lack of faith
Over the past 20 years, the turnout has been between 58 and 65 percent, so the dip this election is worth noting, according to Olsvig.

She said that Greenlanders “suffer greatly from political alienation” and said that politicians needed to work together to overcome that feeling of mistrust.

READ MORE: Greenland’s premier caught up in financial scandal

Last week’s election followed turbulent political times in Greenland. An audit by Greenland’s home rule government revealed that the country’s then premier, Aleqa Hammond, had used over 100,000 kroner from government coffers for private flights, hotel expenses and pricey restaurant visits for her family.

She was eventually forced to resign.

Despite her downfall, she remains popular with Greenland’s voters. She was the largest vote-getter in the election to parliament, where Greenland has two representatives.

Hammond received 3,745 votes from her fellow Greenlanders – just over 18 percent of the 20,514 votes cast.