Published December 29, 2016
Informal coalition talks between the Independence Party, the Reform Party and Bright Future have reportedly been able to reach an agreement regarding all but a few key joint platform points, possibly indicating that Iceland’s next government could be right wing.
Vísir reports that leadership of these three parties has been decidedly tight-lipped over the past few days regarding the progress of the talks. However, it has now come to light that the constitution, fish management and the European Union are the only joint platform points the three parties have to reach an agreement on in order to begin more substantive talks, and possibly form a new ruling coalition.
As reported, five-party coalition talks led by the Pirate Party and comprising Left-Greens, the Social Democrats, the Reform Party and Bright Future broke down last month. The Pirates received the mandate just over a week previous. At the time, Birgitta expressed optimism that trying to “form a coalition from the centre”, instead of pulling all parties to the left, would be more fruitful towards finding a common platform.
The past month has been fairly stormy when it comes to forming Iceland’s next government.
The President had originally given the mandate to form a coalition to the Independence Party. Coalition talks between the Independence Party, the Reform Party and Bright Future broke down last month, as they could not reach an agreement on a common platform; most notably, regarding the management of fisheries and the question of a public referendum on accession to the European Union.
Shortly thereafter, Katrín attempted to form a new coalition comprised of her party, the Pirate Party, the Social Democrats, the Reform Party and Bright Future. However, those talks broke down, as the Left-Greens and the Reform Party were having difficulties finding common ground on a number of issues, amongst them fishing management and some proposed tax increases on high income earners.
This, in turn, led to the Independence Party and the Left-Greens entering talks. Shortly thereafter, the Pirate Party, the Reform Party, the Social Democrats and Bright Future entered into informal talks of their own.
If this latest round of coalition talks break down, there are a couple of options. Parliament may face a crisis the could lead to either a minority government, or the formation of a “national government”, wherein there is no ruling coalition nor opposition, but rather, all parties share power equally. New elections next year are also a distinct possibility, either in conjunction with a minority government or national government, or on its own.