Question Of Early Elections Still Unanswered - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Question Of Early Elections Still Unanswered

Published April 10, 2016

Photos by
Art Bicnick

Despite assurances from the ruling coalition that they will happen, no date has yet been set for early elections in Iceland.

Responding to growing suspicion that the ruling coalition of the Independence Party and the Progressives will break their promise to hold early elections this fall, Vísir reports, Independence Party MP Jón Gunnarsson told parliament yesterday that it was “out of the question” that they will betray their word. He assured members of parliament that an exact date for early elections will be announced “in the coming weeks.”

The opposition, however, has pushed for immediate parliamentary dissolution, with elections to follow shortly thereafter. While the ruling coalition defeated a measure calling for exactly that, the opposition is not alone in their demand – the largest share of Icelanders polled on the subject want immediate elections.

What is especially interesting to have in mind is that while only 26% said they trust the ruling coalition, Independence Party chairperson Bjarni Benediktsson has repeatedly stated in his defense of the coalition that opinion polls are not the same as ballots.

However, Bjarni was of a much different mind on this subject in 2010, when he cited opinion polls as the reason why the ruling coalition at that time – the Social Democrats and Left-Greens – needed, in his opinion, to resign immediately and hold early elections.

For more on this continuing story, follow our Panama Papers tag on Grapevine.is/news.


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