Government Puzzle Unsolved Skip to content

Government Puzzle Unsolved

Independence Party Leader Bjarni Benediktsson and Left-Green Leader Katrín Jakobsdóttir have decided not to start formal coalition negotiations, after three days of informal discussions between the two parties, RÚV reports. Katrín described the situation as complicated and did not rule out the possibility of a broad-based national government. She stated that no single issue had been the obstacle in their negotiations, but the divide between the two parties was simply too wide.

Katrín reported that no decision has been made regarding resuming negotiations with the Reform Party, Bright Future, the Pirate Party, and the Social Democratic Alliance, but those four parties were reported to have resumed informal talks today and to be interested in being joined by the Left-Green Movement. While Katrín had the mandate to form a government, her attempts failed to bring together a five-party coalition of the five parties. Before being able to decide whether to resume talks with the four parties, Katrín stated she’d first have to consult her party group.

She does not know what President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson plans to do next. “Members of parliament are invited to the presidential residence Bessastaðir for a festive dinner tonight,” she explained and jokingly added, “Maybe he’ll just lock us inside.”

Since the October 29 parliamentary election, three kinds of coalition talks have proven futile: first, a three-party center-right coalition of the Independence Party, the Reform Party and Bright Future proved impossible to form; then, attempts to form a five-party center-left coalition of the Left-Green Movement, the Pirate Party, the Reform Party, Bright Future and the Social Democratic Alliance failed; and today, the right-left coalition talks between the Left-Green Movement and the Independence Party proved unsuccessful (those two would have needed a third party to form a majority government).

It looks like the next chapter might involve the same five characters as Attempt number two. The only party not to have received a role in coalition talks yet is the Progressive Party.

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