This gives Siumut 14 seats and will undoubtedly secure Aleqa Hammond the position as leader of the Government (Naalakkersuisut). This will make her Greenland's first woman Premier.
Negotiations are now taking place with potential coalition partners for a joint platform to form a new government - the negotiations are expected to take some days before any final result. We are following developments very closely and will publish a newsletter as soon as a new government has been formed and the government program is official.
Siumut's victory - which means farewell to the previous Premier Kuupik Kleist from the Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) Party - may have major consequences for the mineral resources industry as the party declared during the election campaign that it would introduce royalties on minerals in Greenland. Aleqa Hammond mentioned this again during her first press conference after the election. This will undeniably be a major issue in Greenland over the next period of time.
There is no doubt that Siumut - like the previous government - wants Greenland to develop into a mining nation as the country needs a sustainable industry in addition to fishing. However, the way in which Greenland is to develop as a mining nation will be different from the previous government's goals, and in particular taxation of foreign companies has played a central role in Siumut's election campaign. But not all of Siumut's declared goals are bad news for the mining industry. For example, Siumut wants to do away with zero-tolerance for uranium recovery.
The question is whether the heated debate on the introduction of royalties applies to all mineral resources - oil, gas and minerals - or is it only directed at hard minerals where the current government take does not include a royalty tax? The government take on oil and gas currently includes a surplus royalty, and it is not likely that this legislation will be reviewed. On the other hand, this cannot be ruled out and the new government might decide to amend the legislation.
But it is too early to have any idea of the type of royalty which might be introduced and how it will be calculated. We will be following this closely as it could have a major impact on the financial calculations necessary to assess whether a large-scale project, etc. would be profitable.
Siumut's goals and visions for Greenland are listed in their party program. These goals not only mention taxation of foreign companies but also involvement of local labour in mining projects as well as issues regarding greenhouse gas emissions, etc.
To give you an idea of what Siumut stands for, you can read our in-house translation of part of Siumut's party program below. It might not be possible to implement the entire election program without compromises with one or more other parties - but it shows the main line which can be expected to be followed in the nearest future.
- Our aim is to introduce royalty on non-living resources that are exported out of the country
- Our aim is to strengthen the position of businesses
- Our aim is to return food legislation to Greenland
- Our aim is to gain the authority to draft our own immigration legislation
- Our aim is to have Greenlandic fully used as the official language
- We believe that education should be adjusted according to the needs of society
- We put care, health, children and the elderly at the centre of our work
- Our aim is to create a society where our citizens have jobs as well as a voice
- Our aim is to make our country an independent state
- We believe that the authorities should work closely together in their efforts to create a strong community.
A strong and resourceful society is the characteristic of a proud community. Siumut's main objective is to create a society that enjoys the economic benefits of the country's resources. Therefore, the revenue from our resources - animals, fish, agriculture, tourism and especially the revenue from non-living resources must be the focal point in our efforts to develop our society.
We must pave the way to make our country economically self-sufficient:
- Siumut will strive to introduce tax on the mineral resources that are exported out of the country
- Siumut wants to provide mining companies with good conditions, provided that these companies meet the requirements of society
- The extraction of uranium as a by-product must take place under proper and safe conditions in order to ensure that the extraction of minerals is not a hazard to the surrounding nature and to health
- Mineral extraction must not be at the expense of nature and health. Licence holders must be required to ensure preventive measures against pollution of the surrounding nature
- Siumut is working for new legislative provisions requiring companies to provide employment for the people of Greenland
- Siumut believes that calls for tenders should be based on resident companies
- Siumut will ensure that the people of Greenland will be heard in connection with applications for extraction of mineral resources/licences
- Siumut finds it crucial that the public be consulted and involved in the legislative work on the Mineral Resources Act
- Siumut will strengthen education targeted at the mining industry.
We are working to adapt Greenland to climate change impacts and to make Greenland self sufficient in energy:
- Siumut will continue to work for the continued development of hydro power plants
- It is crucial for Siumut that newly constructed power plants do not pollute
- Siumut is working to ensure that our country does not make commitments that limit the country's possibility to operate large companies and mining industries.
Greenland will submit an application to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 2014 with documentation that Greenland is connected with the North Pole. Siumut is striving to prepare Greenland for the foreign policy consequences of the application."