Constitutional Commission Upsets Greenland

People in Greenland are upset that the Constitutional Commission’s leader, Vivian Motzfeldt (Siumut) gets an official residence in Nuuk, and that the commission members may receive remuneration for their work. (Photo: Mats Bjerde/norden.org and Siumut)
The commission that is to write a proposed constitution for Greenland has caused widespread and angered debate on the island.


The commission that is to write a proposed constitution for Greenland has caused widespread and angered debate on the island.

The Greenlandic dream of independence has, among others, led the parliament, the Inatsisartut, to establish a commission that is to write a proposed constitution for the country.


Mostly a debate about the commission

So far, the Commission itself is what has stirred the biggest debate, most lately about remuneration for the Commission’s members, according to Sermitsiaq.ag

While the Commission’s mandate clearly states that its members “shall not receive remuneration for their work on the Commission”, it appears that the recently adopted budget for Greenland has set aside a sum of half a million Danish kroner (€ 67,000) for that very same purpose.


Commentary explosion

The commentary fields of the newspaper exploded with the news. The Commission’s chairperson, Vivian Motzfeldt, refers to Naalakkersuisut (the Greenlandic Home Rule Authorities) when asked about the case.

A few days ago, it became public knowledge that Motzfeldt will be allocated an official residence in Greenland’s capital, Nuuk, in relation to her work on the Commission. Motzfedt lives and works in Quaqortoq, in the southernmost part of the country.


Democratically dubious

The official residence as well as the potential remuneration of the Commission’s members, which contradicts the regulations adopted by the Inatsisartut, has stirred anger in Greenland.

Michael Rosing, an independent representative, says to the newspaper that it is “democratically quite dubious” that the Naalakkersuisut, which holds absolute majority in the parliament, changes the mandate for the Commission on its own.


Abuse of power and ‘cleptocracy’

The commentators speak of ‘cleptocracy’, abuse of power, about politicians filling their own pockets at the expense of the community.

All members of the Constitutional Commission are members of the Greenlandic parliament.

The work on a Greenlandic constitution has also stirred debate earlier.





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