Constitutional Council Approved - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Constitutional Council Approved

Published March 25, 2011

Parliament voted in favour of a measure that would officially bring together a constitutional assembly, circumventing a Supreme Court ruling that deemed the election invalid.
As the Grapevine reported, elections for the 25-member constitutional assembly were ruled invalid on the grounds that the way the elections were conducted broke numerous voting laws. The issue has been a political one, as conservatives have been opposed to changing the constitution, while leftist greatly favour doing so. Last month, the government proposed appointing those 25 who had been elected onto a “constitutional council”, thereby getting around the court ruling.
RÚV reports that the measure was passed, 30 votes against 21, with seven abstaining. In the opposition, conservatives voted unanimously against it, while The Movement was in favour, and the Progressives were mixed.
However, not everyone in the ruling coalition was on board. Social Democrat Kristján Möller and Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson were against the proposal, arguing that circumventing the court ruling and simply appointing people was undemocratic.
Parliament has in addition agreed that the council will come together in early April. So far, it seems that most of those people who won the constitutional assembly elections will agree to take an appointed seat, although journalist Inga Lind Karlsdóttir has declined. She will be replaced by the person following her in vote counts, Íris Lind Sæmundsdóttir.

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