A Total of 525 People Want to Review Constitution Skip to content

A Total of 525 People Want to Review Constitution

The total number of candidates for the Constitutional Parliament has been revealed: 525, 366 men and 159 women. However, the number might decrease after the verification of the documents received has been completed.

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Inside Althingi, the Icelandic parliament. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

Thórhallur Vilhjálmsson, secretary of the national returning board, told Fréttabladid that the number of faulty candidacies isn’t clear yet. However, some people handed a list of too many sponsors and have until noon tomorrow to fix that.

The national returning board will convene on Monday to take a final stand on the candidacy. Afterwards a list of all candidates will be published.

Birgir Gudmundsson, chairman of the social sciences department at the University of Akureyri, told Fréttatíminn that he believes the complicated voting system will repel voters.

“I fear that there will be little participation, the results questioned and the conclusion insignificant,” Gudmundsson stated, adding he believes the execution of the election on November 27 will be tricky.

“I understand that returning boards have already sent out messages to local authorities that there must be a higher number of polling booths than usual because voters will spend a long time there,” he said.

The ballot will have 25 empty lines where the voter will write the numbers allocated to the candidates he or she would like to vote for.

“And how are people supposed to vote? People hardly know who to vote for unless they happen to know a candidate, maybe a cousin or a sister,” Gudmundsson continued.

“There is not a strong encouragement to go to the polling booth unless people are doing it for someone special. I have trouble understanding how campaigning issues can be delivered in the introduction that lies ahead,” he stated.

In the group of 525 candidates there are some well-known people who he believes might have an advantage unless they’re known to be querulous.

Gudmundsson pointed out that if the turnout is low, the Constitutional Parliament’s authority will also be weak.

Then there is a question of how its proposals will be treated by the Althingi parliament, if only between 20 to 40 percent of voters participated in the election.

“If the turnout is 60-70 percent it is a victory, but I think it will be unlikely,” Gudmundsson commented.

Click here to read more about the Constitutional Parliament and here to read about how the election will be executed.

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