While the Reykjavík faction of the Social Democrats are calling for an immediate termination of the coalition with the Independence Party in Iceland’s government, chairmen of both parties want to hold on to the coalition.
Chairs of the government parties: Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde of the Independence Party (left) and Foreign Minister Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir of the Social Democrats. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
“We stand together while we can,” Foreign Minister and chairman of the Social Democrats Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, who is on sick leave in Sweden, told RÚV last night. According to Fréttabladid, many members of the Social Democrats were taken aback by her statement.
In her interview with RÚV, Gísladóttir said that she had not been surprised by the demands made by the Social Democrats in Reykjavík; many party members were of the opinion that the Independence Party should take more responsibility for what had happened.
Gísladóttir agrees with the Reykjavík faction of her party that elections should be held no later than in May, although she does not want to terminate the coalition with the Independence Party until then. The minister said she had made it clear to Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde that she would lobby for elections in spring.
Haarde stated on Tuesday that it would be unwise to elect a new government in spring. The Independence Party is of the opinion that it is in the best interest of the public that the current administration remains at the helm. If early elections are deemed necessary, they should take place no sooner than next fall.
Yesterday, the PM told the Althingi parliament that he was convinced that the government is on the right track in the measures it has taken to restore Iceland’s economy.
According to Fréttabladid, most Independence Party MPs agree with Haarde, but are losing patience with the Social Democrats, whose declarations weaken the coalition rather than strengthening it, they say.
The coalition between the two parties and the political situation in Iceland will be discussed by the central committee of the Independence Party today.
Click here to reach more about the demands made by the Reykjavík faction of the Social Democrats on Wednesday.