Denmark (official name: Kingdom of Denmark) is a constitutional monarchy based on parliamentary democracy.
The Monarch is the head of the state and theoretically holds all executive powers. But in reality the executive powers are exercised on behalf of the monarch by the Prime Minister (who is head of the government). Following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed Prime Minister by the monarch for a four year term. The cabinet, called Council of State, is appointed by the Monarch on Prime Minister’s recommendation.
The legislature is unicameral. The parliament called People's Assembly has the ultimate legislative authority; its members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms. On a vote of no confidence motion the parliament may force the entire government to resign. The people of Denmark enjoy considerable political rights.
Denmark has an independent and highly professional judiciary. The main source of the law is the constitution of 1849 which went through a major overhaul in 1953. The legal system is based on the civil law system and the judicial review of various legislative acts. Denmark accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations. Denmark is a member of the European Union (EU), so the country's national law needs to comply with the Community legislation. The judicial language in the country is Danish, but English is the predominant second language.
Denmark is ruled by law. Foreign nationals can expect a fair trial form the country's judicial system. Denmark is one of the least corrupt nations in the world.
Major political parties
Denmark has a multi-party system, with the following four parties as major political parties:
- Liberal Party – a social liberal party, advocates major reforms in country's education & tax systems;
- Social Democratic Party – follows social-democratic ideology, supports public spending on healthcare, education and infrastructure;
- Conservative People's Party – a conservative centre-right political party;
- SF (Socialist People's Party) – follows popular-socialism inspired by socialism and green politics.
Major political leaders
Monarch: Queen MARGRETHE II (since January 1972); heir apparent Crown Prince FREDERIK
Prime Minister: Anders Fogh RASMUSSEN (since November 2001, re-elected in February 2005) – Liberal Party, heading a coalition government with Conservative People's Party
Next political election dates
People's Assembly: February 2009