From Iceland — No Confidence Vote Against Iceland's Justice Minister Fails To Pass, Barely

No Confidence Vote Against Iceland’s Justice Minister Fails To Pass, Barely

Published March 7, 2018

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Aron Urb/Wikimedia Commons

A vote of no confidence against Minister of Justice Sigríður Á. Andersen failed to pass, with 29 voting in favour, 33 voting against, and one abstention. Two members of the ruling coalition were amongst those who voted in favour, and the Prime Minister expressed disappointment with their votes.

As reported, the no confidence proposal was submitted by the Social Democrats and the Pirate Party to parliament yesterday. RÚV reports that ultimately the proposal was defeated, but only by a handful of votes.

In all, every member of the parliamentary opposition voted in favour, with the exception of Bergþór Ólason of the Centre Party, who abstained. In addition, Rósa Björk Brynjólfsdóttir and Andrés Ingi Jónsson of the Left-Green Party, which leads the ruling coalition, voted in favour. These two MPs previously distinguished themselves by being the only two members of the party to vote against forming a government with the Independence Party, from which Sigríður hails.

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who is also the chair of the Left-Greens, said she was disappointed with them voting in favour of the no confidence proposal. For her part, Sigríður was decidedly pleased with the results, saying that it proved her actions while in office were justified.

Sigríður’s tenure as Minister of Justice, both during the previous and the current government, has been fraught with controversy. She played an instrumental role in the scandal involving “restored honour” for a convicted paedophile, and broke the law when she appointed a judge to the Court of Appeal against the advisement of committees designed to assess qualifications for potential judges.

Further, as Minister of Justice, she presides over the Directorate of Immigration, which has made numerous deportation decisions that go against both Icelandic law and international agreements, resulting in widespread and concerted public criticism.

These scandals have led to the conclusion that 72.5% of Icelanders want Sigríður to resign – including over 90% of Left-Green voters.

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