After about four months of waiting, the government has at last decided on October 29 for early parliamentary elections.
RÚV reports that the ruling coalition of the Progressives and the Independence Party submitted the proposed election date to members of the opposition, who reportedly accepted it. This will mean that the current parliamentary session will be extended until this date, but the budget for next year will not be proposed until after elections are held.
Members of the opposition expressed relief that the uncertainty surrounding parliamentary elections has finally been resolved.
While originally scheduled to be held in late spring 2017, the Panama Papers leak and a disastrous television interview led to former Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson resigning from his post, with former Minister of Agriculture and Fishing Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson taking the reins.
The opposition, and one of the largest protest demonstrations in Icelandic history, initially demanded immediate elections. The ruling coalition countered with elections to be held in the autumn, but were reluctant to put forward an exact date until now.
With the election date determined, parliamentary parties – and hopeful newcomers – are now gearing up for full campaign mode.