ALEQA Hammond is set to become Greenland’s first female prime minister.
But she will need to cobble together a coalition if she is to get her way and mine the Arctic island’s vast mineral wealth.
Her centrist Siumat party won 42.8 per cent of the vote on Tuesday. Premier Kuupik Kleist’s left-leaning Inuit Ataqatigiit party won only 34.4 per cent.
“I am very, very happy. I am thrilled,” said Mrs Hammond, 47. “I am glad Siumut is back.”
Mr Kleist conceded defeat in the battle for the 31-seat parliament, which will now have 14 Siumat MPs. Hammond’s party ruled for three decades but was ousted four years ago when Inuit Ataqatigiit grabbed power for the first time since 1979, the year Greenland acquired semi-autonomous status from Denmark.
Her programme aims to reduce dependency on subsidy from Denmark, which accounts for two-thirds of the island’s economy. But mining would require thousands of guest workers, a prospect not relished by the population of 57,000.