The chairman of the Young Progressives has resigned over what be believes to be a “troubling nationalism” growing within the party.
Last May, many were openly critical of Progressive Party chairman Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson over what they considered to be xenophobic remarks about foreigners in Iceland. At the time, the Progressives of Kópavogur responded in an open statement which read in part, “Few nations have as good a relationship with other nations as Icelanders do, and we should have contact with other peoples that is based on equality, welcoming those who come here for the short term or long term, just as Icelanders are accepted by other nations when they travel abroad.”
As the months went on, things did not exactly improve for the party. Numerous prominent Progressives – including MP Guðmundur Steingrímsson – have left the party. Now, Young Progressives chairman Sigurjón Norberg Kjærnested joins the exodus.
Sigurjón cites a “troubling nationalism” as his reason for leaving, telling reporters, “I have no quarrel with someone loving our people and our nation. I do, too. It’s using nationalism for a political purpose that I have a problem with – and refuse to take part in.”
Sigurjón believes that Guðmundur may in all likelihood start a new political party, as he has hinted he will do, and says that he looks forward to joining forces with him when he does.
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