HomeDanish PoliticsDanish Candidates Withdraw Before Election, Still on Ballot - Controversy Ensues

Danish Candidates Withdraw Before Election, Still on Ballot – Controversy Ensues

Two candidates withdrew before the election, but still appeared on the ballot. Alexandra Sasha from Venstre (Left) and Irina Bjørnø from Alternativet (The Alternative) both chose to withdraw their candidacy before election day, yet voters could still find their names on the ballot on Sunday. According to Statistics Denmark, 1497 people voted for Alexandra Sasha, while Irina Bjørnø received 183 votes. Alexandra Sasha withdrew her candidacy less than two weeks before the election after being subjected to a smear campaign, which she described as filled with false statements and unpleasant interpretations. In a Facebook post on May 30, she wrote that it had been both physically and mentally tough, and that she could not continue.

B.T. (a Danish tabloid newspaper) revealed that Sasha had previously been a board member of the European Russian Forum youth organization. Senior researcher Flemming Splidsboel from the Danish Institute for International Studies (Diis) assessed that the European Russian Forum can be described as a pro-Russian and Putin-friendly influence forum, he told B.T. Just like Sasha, Irina Bjørnø also withdrew her candidacy after media stories about Russian connections. According to Ekstra Bladet (another Danish tabloid newspaper), Bjørnø is the chairman of an association that has received support from a Russian state-controlled organization, which is on the EU’s sanctions list. Alternativet (The Alternative) states that the association has been inactive since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022.

Both candidates’ withdrawals have sparked debate about the electoral system’s ability to quickly adapt to changes in the candidate field.

Read the danish version here

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