From Iceland — Finance Minister Contradicts Former PM On Early Elections

Finance Minister Contradicts Former PM On Early Elections

Published May 24, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

The Minister of Finance says there absolutely will be elections this autumn – provided parliament meets certain conditions.

Social Democrat MP Helgi Hjörvar asked Minister of Finance and Independence Party chairperson Bjarni Benediktsson if there will indeed by elections this autumn, Vísir reports, in the wake of recent remarks from former Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson that holding elections this autumn would be “inconvenient.”

Bjarni’s response was at once unequivocal and conditional.

“Nothing has changed regarding what myself and the Prime Minister have said,” Bjarni said. “We are aiming for elections this autumn.”

However, Bjarni did not let matters end there.

“I find it kind of significant how much people doubt that people will fully stand by their word, considering how often myself and the Prime Minister have come up to the podium and said that [early elections] are our intention,” he said, adding that elections in the autumn are dependent on whether or not parliamentary work goes well.

Bjarni said that it is important that parliament finish work on major legislation (typically submitted by the ruling coalition) before there can be elections.

The exact date for early elections has still not been set, even though over a month and a half has passed since Bjarni first provided assurances early elections will take place. At the same time, Progressive MP Ásmundur Einar Daðason has been telling voters that autumn elections are only a “possibility”.

As such, a definitive answer on when elections will be held is still pending.

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