From Iceland — BREAKING NEWS: Two Leftist-Green MPs Leave The Party

BREAKING NEWS: Two Leftist-Green MPs Leave The Party

Published March 21, 2011

Atli Gíslason and Lilja Mósesdóttir, both MPs for the Leftist-Greens, have announced that they are leaving the party. Other members of parliament that Eyjan has spoken to have expressed surprise at the move, which puts the government in a very tenuous position.
RÚV reports that at a press conference held just moments ago, the two cited long-standing disagreements with the government, and that the tipping point had been over the latest budget bill. They have said that they cannot support the government unconditionally, and have been disappointed with what they see as the government not doing all it can to defend the social welfare system.
The two have been associated with the so-called “unstable division” of the party – MPs who have disagreed with the party over major issues. In particular, Icesave has been an area of contention within the party, as has the EU question and cuts made to social programmes.
The move puts the ruling coalition of the Social Democrats and Leftist-Greens in a somewhat tenuous position. The majority appears even weaker when taking into account Ásmundur Einar Daðasson, another Leftist-Green MP associated with the “unstable division”, who has voted with the opposition in the past.
There have also been rumours that the coalition will not hold, but rather that the conservatives and Social Democrats will form a new coalition. This has not yet been confirmed nor denied, but the government’s position is certainly unstable.
UPDATE: Smugan has released the joint statement of Atli and Lilja, which reviews the areas of disagreement the two have had with the Leftist-Greens. As stated, most of these disagreements have been over the budget, Icesave, the EU, and the IMF. They conclude: “We do not intend to work in an environment that questions our work and hinders our freedom of expression. By that we mean both our own party and the leadership of the government. … We do not trust ourselves to unconditionally support the government any more, nor bear responsibility for their platform and work habits. We will, on the other hand, continue to defend the platform ideals of the Leftist-Greens and work in their spirit, both within the party and in parliament.”

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