Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson has just announced he is ready to dissolve parliament and get early elections underway “as soon as possible”.
Posting on Facebook just minutes ago, the Prime Minister said that he met with his partners in the ruling coalition, the Independence Party, this morning. Sigmundur said that if they do not support the ruling coalition, he is prepared to bring it all to an end.
“I discussed the matter with the chairperson of the Independence Party, saying that if party MPs do not believe they can support the coalition by completing our joint efforts, I will dissolve parliament and call for early elections as soon as possible,” he wrote in part.
The Independence Party have at the time of this writing made no formal announcement to this effect, but the President returned to Iceland this morning, cutting short his visit to the US, in light of “this very serious situation”, as he told reporters. As the head of state, the President is tasked with forming the ruling coalition, including emergency coalitions resulting from parliament dissolving – as he did in 2009.
If parliament is dissolved, all parties involved will have just 45 days to prepare for elections. For this reason, many members of the opposition are taking the Prime Minister’s announcement to be tantamount to a threat, Kjarninn reports.
“It is unbelievable that [the Prime Minister] tries to extort the Independence Party MPs into supporting the coalition which such threats,” Pirate Party captain Birgitta Jónsdóttir told reporters. “I can’t speak for them, but I don’t think this is the way to resolve matters or get out of impossible circumstances for a minister.”
How close the ruling coalition is to dissolving is still unclear, but the Prime Minister is reportedly at the residence of President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson at the time of this writing.
Grapevine will continue to provide updates as events unfold.
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