As a matter of fact, it was a race with a more or less predicted outcome as both candidates were in favor of secessionism, albeit with different approaches. While Qujaukitsoq was known as an advocate of a higher-risk accelerated independence due to "arrogance" on Copenhagen's part, Kielsen supports a more moderate approach. According to Kielsen, independence is something that his children or grandchildren can put a date on, Danish Radio reported.
Social Democratic Siumut ("Forward") is Greenland's largest political party, enjoying the support of 34.3 Greenlandic voters. It is currently part of the country's ruling coalition together with fellow Democratic Socialists Inuit Ataqatigiit ("Community of the People"), which is also striving towards Greenlandic independence.
After Viking and Inuit (Eskimo) colonization in the Middle Ages, Greenland became part of Norway in 1262, but its original Norse settlements vanished during the Little Ice Age, which began in the 15th century. It was later incorporated into the Danish realm. In the aftermath of WWII, the United States offered to purchase the island (which is 1.26 the size of Alaska) for $100 million, but was snubbed.
In 1985, Greenland withdrew from the European Economic Community which would later become the EU, in order to retain fishing rights. Today it enjoys cooperation with the EU over fisheries, which provides substantial revenues and support.
In recent years, relations between Greenland and Denmark have soured following what Greenlanders perceive as negligence in Copenhagen's handling of the toxic waste left from Camp Century, a Cold War-era US military base. As part of the Danish Realm, Greenland has long been urging Copenhagen to "clean up the mess" left by the country's Cold War ally. From WW2 onwards, 32 military sites were established across Greenland, of which only Thule remains in operation.
At present, Greenland, the world's largest island, is a struggling with its meager population, which could fit inside a large football stadium, as well as and a lopsided economy that is largely reliant on shrimp exports together with a frozen annual subsidy of 3.4 billion DKK ($556,000,000), which is planned to diminish gradually over time.
Therefore, Kielsen may need to convince fellow Greenlanders of a sustained quality of life, once the island leaves the Danish realm. According to a poll by the Greenlandic newspaper Sermitsiaq, 78 percent of respondents would oppose independence if it meant a drop in living standards.