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Greenland PM calls parliamentary vote in April

FILE PHOTO: Greenland’s Prime Minister Kim Kielsen stands in his office with a giant photograph of a sea eagle in Nuke, Greenland, June 2, 2016. REUTERS/Alister Doyle

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Greenland’s Prime Minister Kim Kielsen has called parliamentary elections for next month, local media reported on Monday.

The country last voted in 2014 when Kielsen’s Siumut party won more than a third of votes. He became prime minister when Aleqa Hammond was forced to resign after a scandal involving spending of public money on hotels and flights.

The vote for the 31-seat parliament, the Landstinget, is due on April 17 or April 24, Kielsen told a news conference reported by state broadcaster KNR.

Greenland is a self-ruling country within the Kingdom of Denmark and has a population of about 56,000 people.

The island won self-government aside from defense and security in 2009. Since then, most politicians have aimed for growing autonomy and eventual independence.

The country has tried to attract foreign investment into its vast untapped hydrocarbon and mineral resources but a lack infrastructure and slow bureaucracy have limited development.

Greenland, whose economy is largely dependent on its fishing industry, receives an annual grant from Denmark of around 3.7 billion Danish crowns ($612.41 million), about a quarter of its BNP.

Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg