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Danish MP leaves Conservative party; opposition says 'serious test' for govt
12.05.07, 6:13 AM ET



COPENHAGEN (Thomson Financial) - Conservative MP Pia Christmas-Moeller said she is leaving her party, which comprises part of Denmark's right-wing government.

'Management and debate conditions within the Conservative party have developed to the point where I no longer have the necessary respect for and trust in the management,' she said in a letter published on her website late last night.

She added, however, that she will still support the liberal-conservative ruling coalition, which won the parliamentary election in November with the slimmest possible majority.

But according to the Social Democratic opposition, Christmas-Moeller's departure from the ruling coalition means Prime Minister Fogh Rasmussen will now have to seek support from outside his own ranks, daily Jyllandsposten said, citing Social Democratic group secretary Henrik Dam Kristensen.

'This will be a serious test for the prime minister. Now it looks like he will have to cooperate with people other than (supporting right-wing party Dansk Folkeparti's chair person) Pia Kjaersgaard,' said Dam Kristensen.

Inger Stoejberg, political chairperson of the prime minister's liberal party Venstre did not agree on the opposition's assessment.

'Since (Christmas-Moeller) is so clear about backing a liberal-conservative government, the situation remains unchanged,' she said, according to Jyllandsposten.

Denmark's ruling right-wing coalition clung on to power after securing a minimal majority in the election of Nov 14, but several political commentators warned of an unstable political situation in the coming parliamentary term.

gustav.sandstrom@thomson.com

gs/cmr

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