From Iceland — Elections 2016: 5-Party Coalition Talks Break Down

Elections 2016: 5-Party Coalition Talks Break Down

Published November 23, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Seppo Samuli

Coalition formation talks between the Left-Greens, who were given the mandate to form a new coalition last week, and the Pirate Party, the Reform Party, the Social Democrats and Bright Future ended today after being unable to reach an agreement on major platform issues. Left-Green chair Katrín Jakobsdóttir told reporters she has not decided if she will return the mandate to the President, or attempt to form a new coalition.

While no specific cause for the breakdown was disclosed, RÚV points out that the Left-Greens and the centre-right Reform Party were having difficulties finding common ground on a number of issues, amongst them fishing management and some proposed tax increases on high income earners. In fact, Stundin reports that the Reform Party remained unconvinced of the proposed coalition’s strength.

The Pirates, for their part, released a statement emphasising that their ideas on government policy did not get in the way of forming a coalition.

Katrín told reporters that she has not yet decided if she will return the mandate to the President, or if she will attempt to form a coalition with a different configuration of parties instead.

As reported, coalition talks between the Independence Party, the Reform Party and Bright Future broke down last week, as they could not reach an agreement on a common platform; most notably, regarding the management of fisheries and the question of a public referendum on accession to the European Union.

As it stands now, there are very limited options in terms of what new coalition could be formed. Attempts at forming coalitions around both the centre-to-right parties and centre-to-left parties have failed, making a coalition between more dissimilar parties even less likely.

This would leave the possibility of a þjóðstjórn, or national government, wherein there is no ruling coalition nor opposition; rather, all parties must work together and share ministerial posts. This has only been attempted in emergency situations and even then, only temporarily.


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