From Iceland — Elections '17: Iceland May Get 4-Party Left-To-Centre Government

Elections ’17: Iceland May Get 4-Party Left-To-Centre Government

Published November 2, 2017

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

RÚV reports that Left-Green chair Katrín Jakobsdóttir will be meeting with President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson at 16:00 today. Sources believe it is likely she will ask for and receive the mandate to form Iceland’s next government.

Talks between the Left-Greens, the Social Democrats, the Progressives and the Pirates concluded at noon today. If a coalition is formed from these parties in more formal talks, it will have a majority of one seat in Iceland’s 63-seat Parliament – the same majority the previous government had, albeit with three parties.

The arrangement is one of the minority governments Grapevine predicted, and the scandals of the previous two governments likely played contributing factors in the Independence Party and the Centre Party being shut out of informal coalition talks. Specifically, former Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson’s father had signed a letter of recommendation for a convicted paedophile to have his civil standing restored, which Bjarni had deliberately not told the press and the public, while the Prime Minister before him, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, resigned from office last year in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal.

There was talk yesterday of a possible five-party coalition, which would have included the involvement of the centre-right Reform Party. In addition, others had speculated the People’s Party could also be brought into the fold, making a six-party coalition that would include every party voted in at last Saturday’s elections except for the Independence Party and Sigmundur’s Centre Party.

However, it appears as though more harmony was found in informal talks between these four parties than between others. A clearer picture of Iceland’s next government should come into focus later today.

UPDATE 16:36 The mandate to form the next government has been granted to the Left-Greens, with formal 4-party coalition talks to begin tomorrow.

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