Greenland calls for early elections amid investigation into premier's use of public funds

Associated Press

Greenland has called for early elections next month after four government members quit and the prime minister went on leave amid a scandal involving the use of public funds.

Parliament in the semi-autonomous territory decided late Wednesday elections will be held November 28, a year-and-a-half earlier than planned.

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Prime Minister Aleqa Hammond decided to take a leave of absence until an investigation is completed into her alleged private spending of public funds worth more than 106,000 kroner ($84,322) on hotels and flights.

The political crisis casts doubt on Hammond's dream of seeing the mostly ice-covered Arctic island achieving full financial independence from Denmark if it could harvest underground mineral wealth. She had a ban removed on mining radioactive minerals, a byproduct of extracting rare earth metals, among others.