Elections 2016: Iceland's Next Government May Form This Week - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Elections 2016: Iceland’s Next Government May Form This Week

Published November 8, 2016

Photos by
Art Bicnick

By all indications, a three-party right-wing government looks set to become the next ruling coalition in Iceland.

Bjarni Benediktsson, chairperson of the Independence Party, told RÚV that formal coalition talks could begin over the next few days. He said that he believes a three-party coalition would be the best formation, although a four-party coalition is not out of the question, albeit undesirable.

As such, this makes it very likely that the next ruling coalition will be comprised of the Independence Party, the centre-right Restoration Party, and the centrist party Bright Future. The advantage of forming such a coalition is that it would be relatively easy, ideologically speaking, for the three to find common ground between them. The disadvantage – and it is a significant one – is that their combined seats in parliament would give them a majority of exactly one seat.

The Left-Greens were often named as potential partners in either joining this coalition or “defending” it in the seat count. However, unnamed sources at DV report that there is a great deal of opposition towards such a partnership within the Left-Greens themselves.

Bjarni said last week that his most “substantial” talks were had with the Progressive Party. However, as this party lost half their seats in the election, bringing them formerly into the coalition would likely spark widespread anger, although the party defending the coalition is another option, albeit a long shot.

As it stands now, there is still much uncertainty, but the situation should become formalised by the end of the week.


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