From Iceland — City Council Member Claims Her Party Took Advantage Of Former Mayor

City Council Member Claims Her Party Took Advantage Of Former Mayor

Published July 19, 2013

A city council member for the Independence Party claims her party took advantage of former Reykjavík mayor Ólafur F. Magnússon in order to control the council.
Þorbjörg Helga Vigfúsdóttir, in an interview in the newest issue of Nýtt Líf, claims her party was able to come to power in January 2008 by taking advantage of the poor mental health of Ólafur, and forming a new ruling coalition with him, ending the control leftist parties had over the city at the time.
“I am still ashamed of having taken part in making Ólafur F. Magnússon the mayor,” she said in part, adding that the justifcation used at the time was that the Independence Party felt the leftist coalition was pushing legislation through along party lines.
“I remember very clearly, when Ólafur had been mayor for a few months,” said Þorbjörg. “One person in our group who had experience in mental health issues walked into one of our meetings to tell us that we were enabling [Ólafur’s illness]. … We didn’t quite comprehend what was going on with [Ólafur], but when we did, we should have broken the coalition at once. Not least of all for Ólafur’s sake.”
Ólafur has been candid about his struggles with mental illness. His position as mayor would end in August 2008, when Independence Party councilperson Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir would take over.

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