Government Surprised by Supreme Court Ruling Skip to content

Government Surprised by Supreme Court Ruling

By Iceland Review

According to Fréttabladid’s sources, the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Constitutional Assembly election on November 27, 2010, was invalid came as a surprise to the government. They thought the court would have remarks on the election’s execution but an invalidation was considered impossible.

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Some of the government’s ministers. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

Vice-chair of the Independence Party Ólöf Nordal told the newspaper last night that since Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir had spearheaded the Constitutional Assembly she should now resign.

Members of the coalition parties pointed out that not only the government but four political parties at Althingi had been responsible for the Constitutional Assembly. Now it must be discussed how Althingi can make sure it will take place.

The first option is to see whether the parliament can vote for the 25 representatives elected to the Constitutional Assembly to work in Althingi’s authority, backed by the democratic intention of voters.

Another option is to change the Constitutional Assembly to a constitutional committee and appoint or vote the 25 elects to the committee. Both means are considered legally viable given that according to law, the Constitutional Assembly is only advisory.

However, if these two resources are deemed impassible, a new Constitutional Assembly election must be held where the deficiencies mentioned by the Supreme Court will be avoided.

According to the newspaper’s sources, the National Electoral Commission had an informal meeting yesterday and decided to meet again, probably later this week, but none of the commission’s members would comment on the verdict for the time being.

Law professor Eiríkur Tómasson questions the Supreme Court’s decision. “In spite of deficiencies, I do not find there is reason to invalidate the election.”

“I base my view on the general rule in parliamentary elections that they should not be invalidated in spite of deficiencies unless these deficiencies could have impacted the outcome of the elections,” he elaborated.

Law professor Sigurdur Líndal disagrees. He said that if Althingi decides to vote the 25 elects to a constitutional committee, the law is being ignored or eluded.

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