Published December 12, 2016
Five-party coalition talks, led by the Pirate Party and involving the Left-Greens, the Social Democrats, the Reform Party and Bright Future, broke down today. Pirate Party captain Birgitta Jónsdóttir will return the mandate to form a coalition to the president.
Vísir reports that the announcement of dissolution of informal coalition talks arose shortly after both the Pirates and the Social Democrats publicly declared a willingness to move forward into more formal 5-party coalition talks.
The Pirates received the mandate just over a week ago. At the time, Birgitta expressed optimism that trying to “form a coalition from the centre”, instead of pulling all parties to the left, would be more fruitful towards finding a common platform.
As reported, the past month has been fairly stormy when it comes to forming Iceland’s next government.
The President had originally given the mandate to form a coalition to the Independence Party. Coalition talks between the Independence Party, the Reform Party and Bright Future broke down last month, 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.
Shortly thereafter, Katrín attempted to form a new coalition comprised of her party, the Pirate Party, the Social Democrats, the Reform Party and Bright Future. However, those talks broke down, as the Left-Greens and the 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.
This, in turn, led to the Independence Party and the Left-Greens entering talks. Shortly thereafter, the Pirate Party, the Reform Party, the Social Democrats and Bright Future entered into informal talks of their own.
With this new situation, the future is very uncertain. Parliament may face a crisis the could lead to either a minority government, or the formation of a “national government”, wherein there is no ruling coalition nor opposition, but rather, all parties share power equally. New elections next year are also a distinct possibility, either in conjunction with a minority government or national government, or on its own.