Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, chairman of the Progressive Party, who holds the mandate to forge a new coalition government, has now held meetings with the leaders of all political parties that earned a seat in parliament.
Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament. Photo: Páll Kjartansson/Iceland Review.
However, Sigmundur has not commented to the media on what party or parties he favors for a coalition. He is expected to make an announcement on the next steps today, Fréttablaðið reports.
Historian Guðni Th. Jóhannesson stated it is obvious that Sigmundur is checking how far the other party leaders are willing to go during coalition talks in working towards his party’s solutions for indebted households.
When asked whether Sigmundur’s approach may upset the Independence Party, Guðni responded to Morgunblaðið that the Independence Party, which received the majority of votes in the April 27 election and as many seats in parliament as the Progressive Party, certainly has its history and pride.
The Independence Party doesn’t appreciate being considered equal to the Pirate Party, which earned the fewest seats in parliament, and Sigmundur’s move might prompt them to consider coalitions with other parties instead, Guðni reasoned.
Bjarni Benediktsson, chairman of the Independence Party, has stated that he favors a two-party coalition with the Progressive Party.
However, Bjarni told mbl.is on Tuesday that it isn’t viable to talk with many parties at once, as Sigmundur is doing, adding that the Independence Party is also open towards coalition talks with others.
Guðmundur Steingrímsson, one of Bright Future’s two chairs, told Fréttablaðið that the situation is more open that he had expected and that many things must become clearer before he can predict what the next coalition will be.
Árni Páll Árnason, who leads the Social Democratic Alliance, commented that the meeting with Sigmundur was good and that the ball is in his court.
Katrín Jakobsdóttir of the Left-Green Movement stated that her party is prepared to formally discuss the possibilities for a coalition to the left.
“I’m too green in this political theater to evaluate whether [the meeting] was staged. That’s not how I experienced it, I thought the talks were sincere,” concluded Birgitta Jónsdóttir, who chairs the Pirate Party.