The outgoing coalition parties of Iceland’s government are in disagreement of what caused their split. Outgoing Prime Minister and chairman of the Independence Party Geir H. Haarde holds the Social Democrats responsible.
Outgoing Foreign Minister and chairwoman of the Social Democrats Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, in return, accused the Independence Party of arrogance, describing it as a hegemonic party that primarily thinks about its own interest, Fréttabladid reports.
Outgoing Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde of the Independence Party and outgoing Minister for Foreign Affairs Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir at a press conference in October 2008. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
Haarde claimed the Social Democrats were “in shambles” and that they had lacked the conviction to end their cooperation with the Independence Party in the conventional way.
Haarde stated the Social Democrats had constantly been making new demands and that the Independence Party had complied with them all until Gísladóttir demanded that one of her party members take over as prime minister.
Gísladóttir said it had been arrogant on behalf of the Independence Party to reject Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir as prime minister.
Haarde said on RÚV’s new magazine Kastjós last night, that it had been impossible for the Independence Party to comply with that demand, reasoning that since the Independence Party is the country’s largest political party, the prime minister should come from their ranks.
Haarde had proposed that vice-chairperson of the Independence Party Thorgerdur Katrín Gunnarsdóttir take over as prime minister.
Minster of the Environment, Thórunn Sveinbjarnardóttir of the Social Democrats, told reporters yesterday that the Independence Party had been both slow to react and afraid of decision making.
The Social Democrats had for example wanted the board of the Central Bank to step down immediately.
Gunnarsdóttir, vice-chair of the Independence Party, told RÚV in an interview last night that her party had wanted to change the entire system of the Central Bank’s operations first.