Iceland’s Former Minister for Foreign Affairs (1988-1995) Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson said that chairwoman of the Social Democratic Alliance and former Foreign Minister Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir should resign as the party’s chair.
Hannibalsson made the announcement on Saturday, during a meeting with the Social Democrat Association of Reykjavík, which operates within the Social Democratic Alliance, Fréttabladid reports.
Chairwoman of the Social Democrats Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
Hannibalsson reasoned that by resigning, Gísladóttir would shoulder her part of the responsibility for Iceland’s economic collapse. He recommended Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir take over as chairperson of the party, otherwise, he would run for the post.
In response to Hannibalsson’s comments, Sigurdardóttir and other party members, including the Social Democrat Youth Association, declared their support for Gísladóttir as the party’s leader.
“Both Ingibjörg and Jóhanna enjoy full support in their work,” Lúdvík Bergvinsson, party group chairman for the Social Democrats, told Morgunbladid. “Jóhanna as prime minister and Ingibjörg as the party’s chairperson.”
Foreign Minister Össur Skarphédinsson criticized Hannibalsson for his comments. “Ingibjörg Sólrún is on sick leave, returning next week, and I don’t think anyone should be speaking this way […]. It is unlike the Jón [Baldvin Hannibalsson] I have worked with.”
“It is absolutely clear on my account that if Ingibjörg Sólrún wants to continue leading the Social Democrats I will support her fully,” Skarphédinsson added.