Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen says his predecessor is the country's candidate to head the U.N. refugee agency.

Loekke Rasmussen said Friday Helle Thorning-Schmidt "has (the) strong political leadership experience and an international profile" needed for the post of U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees which "must engage fully in the many refugee situations caused by global conflicts."

Thorning-Schmidt, 48, stepped down following the June 18 election when her Social Democratic Party lost power to the country's center-right bloc.

A successor for current High Commissioner Antonio Guterres of Portugal will be announced this fall.

Poul Hartling, a Danish prime minister in the 1970s, was UNHCR head 1978-1985, and accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the organization in 1981.