Right-wing Danish party Stram Kurs, led by lawyer Rasmus Paludan, has passed the threshold to make its way onto the ballot for the country’s upcoming national election, having collected at least 20,000 signatures. The party’s participation will now be reviewed and confirmed by Danish authorities. According to Danish law, the next national election must be held before 17 June.
Stram Kurs is seeking candidates, the country’s broadcaster DR revealed. The outlet cited Paludan saying that many have volunteered to stand in the upcoming elections, and the party must now produce a list with candidates.
Danish newspaper Politiken reported that Thursday’s polls revealed that Stram Kurs could get as much as 2.7 percent of the vote in the upcoming election, allowing Paludan and his party to be represented in parliament. The outlet pointed out, however, that the survey has a 1.1 percent margin of error. If they fail to pass the 2 percent threshold, they can still compete for a district seat, however.
Stram Kurs has reportedly called for Islam to be banned in Denmark, while 'non-Western' residents permitted to stay in the country should have their "residence permits cancelled and be expelled". According to Bloomberg, the party’s leader is calling for a government that supports “a mass exodus where we send hundreds of thousands of people back to their home countries”.
Paludan entered the national spotlight during protests in Copenhagen over the Easter holiday. The politician was filmed repeatedly throwing a Quran on the ground in a neighborhood in the Danish capital with a high immigrant population. His actions have resulted in protests, violence and several arrests.
Similar to other European countries, Denmark has had to tackle a large influx of undocumented immigrants from the Middle East and northern Africa following the outbreak of the migrant crisis in 2015. Finance Minister Kristian Jensen recently pointed out that the number of non-Western immigrants and their descendants increased by an estimated 51,000 between 2014-2016, resulting in extra treasury costs. Previous research has indicated an over-representation of immigrants in crime statistics and an under-representation on the labor market.
In recent years, Denmark has markedly tightened its immigration laws, including symbolic decisions such as making it obligatory to shake hands in order to receive Danish citizenship, as well as isolating criminal immigrants on a deserted island off the shore of Copenhagen. Denmark’s asylum rate is lower than most EU countries, however. As of 2019, nearly 800,000 of Denmark's population of 5.8 million (over 13 percent) were immigrants or their descendants. Of these, some 500,000 were non-Western immigrants, Statistics Denmark reported.