On November 1, the people of Denmark will vote in the general election, but an increasing part of the population will not be able to participate: foreign residents. Only those who have acquired Danish citizenship – most likely since 2015, when the law finally made it possible for residents to have dual citizenship – will be able to participate.
One of them was Anastasia Valentin Rasmussen, a Belarusian entrepreneur who moved to Denmark in 2000, but only got Danish citizenship when the law was changed. She is one of the Moderates’ candidates in Copenhagen’s Suburbs. “It’s such a great experience for me, I feel privileged,” she told CPH POST.
Should Rasmussen be elected, one of her main priorities will be to promote the cause of foreigners: “I think it is important that minorities are more present in Danish democracy.”
At present, she feels they are hugely underrepresented. “Around 10 percent of all adults in Denmark cannot vote. I think this is a big problem. It is not just refugees, it is also people who come here with good jobs and high education, live here for a long time and pay taxes, who really participate in society as a good citizen, but who cannot take part in the democratic process.” she added.
Denmark’s first dual citizenship PM?
Anastasia came to Denmark in 2000 to study when she was only 18. She felt very comfortable in the countryside and decided to stay, live here and raise a family. She retained her Belarusian nationality so that she could easily return to her native country and visit her family.
And then the possibility of dual nationality – first announced in 2014, which according to Rasmussen has been “a really good initiative – opened the door for her to get involved in politics.
But what are her chances of realistically becoming Denmark’s first member of parliament with dual citizenship? Given the Moderates’ recent rise in popularity, they are not impossible, but much will depend on how many personal votes she gets.
Copenhagen Suburbs offers 17 seats, of which the Moderates will probably win one or two. Rasmussen is one of six future Members of Parliament in the Moderates, but will her cause attract support from other Danes with dual citizenship in the area? November 1st will reveal all.
The moderates: the new party slams into the centre
The Moderates were founded in June 2022 and are a centrist party that does not belong to either Red Blok or Blue Blok.
“We call ourselves purple because if you mix red and blue, you get purple,” added Rasmussen. The moderates prioritize work, family and the green transition.
According to Rasmussen, “most of the Moderates’ candidates are running for the first time” in an election in “the hope that the Folketing represents more ordinary people and reflects society as it is”.
“I believe that you don’t need to be a professional politician, to have degrees in political science, sociology or economics to be part of the Danish Parliament,” she reasoned.
Despite the competition between the members for the personal votes, Rasmussen maintains “there is a good atmosphere in our party and we really support each other”.
The election is held on 1 November in Denmark and Greenland and on 31 October in the Faroe Islands, because 1 November is a day of remembrance there.
Around 14 different parties stand for the Folketing, and in total there are 10 electoral regions. Parties may decide to divide a large region into fewer small ones with one candidate in each small region, or have all the candidates compete against each other.
However, it is possible that the candidate with the most personal votes will not get a mandate – in the event that the party only wins one mandate in the region. The party has the right to hand over the seat to another candidate in such a case.
Source: The Nordic Page