Iceland’s President Makes Demands for New Coalition Skip to content

Iceland’s President Makes Demands for New Coalition

President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson mentioned four issues that should be taken into account during the formation of a new coalition government in his speech after the termination of the Independence Party-Social Democrat coalition yesterday.

President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson speaking at an earlier occasion. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

These issues are as follows:

Securing reconciliation in society after a turbulent period, establishing an administration that works towards solving the problems of families and companies in Iceland, that new general elections be held as quickly as possible and that a platform for discussions on an improved, or new, constitution be established, Fréttabladid reports.

Grímsson emphasized that the prime minister is not the only person in authority to dissolve parliament and call for elections. Currently, that power lies with the president, Grímsson argued.

Outgoing Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde said in an interview with RÚV’s news magazine Kastljós yesterday that he does not understand the legal argumentation behind the president’s claim, although he agreed that, considering the circumstances, he might not be fit to dissolve parliament and call for elections.

The demands Grímsson made for a new government were also surprising as there is no tradition for the president, who is supposed to serve as they country’s non-political and symbolic leader, to make such demands.

Haarde said on Kastljós that it is natural for the president to express his views on what issues a new government should emphasize, but that it was not in his place to form an agenda for a new government—that is in the hands of the new coalition parties.

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