Danish Expatriates Want to Vote

Under the name ‘The exile parliament’ (Eksiltinget), a number of Danish expatriates have decided to collect online signatures on a recommendation to the UN to ensure the possibility to vote in parliamentary elections for the approximately 200,000 Danish citizens that today cannot vote in their home country.

According to the group, this right was enshrined in the 1948 UN Convention on Human Rights, which Denmark then joined. Article 21 paragraph 1 reads: “Every citizen has the right to vote in his country.”

According to the Danish Constitution you must be a resident in Denmark to vote in elections and there has until now been no political will to change this.

“More than 100,000 Danes, who work in the selling and marketing of Danish products and services and make contacts for Danish companies, lose their voting right in a shorter or longer time scale,” it is said on the homepage of The exile parliament.

The same applies to other Danes working for international organizations and even the Danes, who after a long work life in Denmark have allowed themselves to retire abroad

Today, one of the following requirements has to be met in order to achieve voting right when living abroad:   

  • Those who are sent to a Danish public authority, subject of this private company or association.
  • Persons who are employed by an international organization that Denmark is a member.
  • Persons who are stationed for a Danish aid organization.
  • Persons who are studying abroad.
  • Persons who, for reasons of health, are staying abroad.
  • The spouse or cohabitant of the above mentioned.

Persons who reside abroad, will still be considered to be resident in Denmark if they can show a contract or document stating an intention to return within two years after departure.

Expatriates who meet one of these requirements can apply to get on the electoral register by sending an application to the Danish municipality, they last lived in.

If you agree with The exile parliament that all expatriates should be allowed to vote in general elections, you can visit them here: www.eksiltinget.dk

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