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Kuupik Kleist

Kuupik Vandersee Kleist
4th Prime Minister of Greenland
In office
12 June 2009 – 5 April 2013
Monarch Margrethe II
Deputy Jens B. Frederiksen
Preceded by Hans Enoksen
Succeeded by Aleqa Hammond
Chairman of the OCT
for Greenland
In office
23 January 2012 – 25 September 2012
Leader of the Inuit Ataqatigiit
In office
10 June 2007 – 31 March 2014
Deputy Aqqaluaq B. Egede
Preceded by Josef Motzfeldt
Succeeded by Sara Olsvig
Member of the Greenlandic Parliament
Assumed office
8 February 2002
Member of the Danish Parliament
In office
20 November 2001 – 13 November 2007
Member of the Greenlandic Parliament
In office
Minister of Public Works and Transport
In office
Prime Minister Lars Emil Johansen
Personal details
Born Jakob Edvard Kuupik Kleist
(1958-03-31) 31 March 1958
Qullissat, Greenland
Nationality Greenlandic
Political party Inuit Ataqatigiit
Spouse(s) Aviaaja Vandersee Kleist (2012–present)
Children 5
Alma mater University of Roskilde

Jakob Edvard Kuupik Kleist (born 31 March 1958) is a Greenlandic politician who served as the fourth Prime Minister of Greenland between 2009 and 2013. A member of the Inuit Ataqatigiit party, he was the first Prime Minister not affiliated with Siumut.

Early life and career

Kleist was born on 31 March 1958 to a Danish telegraphist and a Greenlandic mother in Qullissat, and was raised by his aunt and uncle.[1][2] He attended primary school in Qullissat from 1966 until 1972 when the mining town was abandoned and then he attended lower secondary school in Sisimiut until 1975. When he was 17, he was sent to Denmark, alone and with no prior knowledge of Danish.[2] He attended the Birkerød State School in Denmark from 1975 to 1978. Kleist graduated from Roskilde University in 1983 with a master's degree in social work (socionom). He taught journalism in Nuuk from 1988 to 1991.

Political career

In 1996, Kleist was appointed the Director of the Foreign Office of the Greenland Home Rule Government (Direktør for hjemmestyrets udenrigskontor). He was a Member of the Danish Parliament from 20 November 2001 to 13 November 2007, representing the Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA) party. IA will be the first party to govern the autonomous Danish territory under an expanded home rule agreement known as "self-rule" (selvstyre). While the self-rule agreement has been referred to a step towards eventual full independence from Denmark, Kleist's administration is expected to put "any push for independence [...] on the backburner", given his pledge to focus on social issues such as alcoholism, domestic violence and a high suicide rate.[3]

Kleist had risen to power on an agenda that included cleaning up following government scandals.[4]

Prime Minister

Since 2007, he has been the leader of IA, a leftist political party which works towards Greenland's eventual full autonomy from Denmark. The party received the most votes in the 2009 election. In June 2009 the Greenlandic parliament therefore elected Kleist the 4th Prime Minister of Greenland. Kleist also had a very successful election himself and won 5,461 personal votes compared to just 1,413 votes for incumbent Prime Minister Hans Enoksen.[5][6]

In late August 2009 Kleist met with Admiral Tim Sloth Jørgensen and General Walter Natynczyk, the Chief of Denmark's Defence staff and the Chief of Canada's Defence staff.[7] Jørgensen and Walter Natynczyk were conducting a tour of Danish and Canadian military bases in the Arctic.

See also


  1. ^ The Necessary Voice of Greenland - Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b Thomas Borchert: "Troubled Greenland looks inward amid greater autonomy" - Deutsche Presse Agentur. 18 June 2009
  3. ^ Self-rule introduced in Greenland - BBC News. Published 21 June 2009. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
  4. ^ Greenland Votes to Get Tough on Investors; New Ruling Party Campaigned to Backtrack on Country's Recent Opening to Investment From Foreign Mining Ventures 13 March 2013 WSJ
  5. ^ Landsstyreformand Enoksen træder tilbage - DR Forside (Danish) - Published 3 June 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  6. ^ IA vandt stort i Grønland - DR Forside (Danish) - Published 3 June 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  7. ^ "The Danish Chief of Defence, Admiral Jørgensen, pays a visit to Nunavut and Greenland to plan for future defence of the region". Canadian American Strategic Review. 2009-08-20. Archived from the original on 2009-09-03. 
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