Prime Minister of Iceland Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir met with President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson yesterday to ask for termination of her government in light of the result of the election on Saturday. A coalition between the Independence and Progressive Parties is considered most likely to take over.
Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir. Photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.
The Progressive Party boasts the biggest victory but the Independence Party remains the country’s largest in percentage. However, both parties earned 19 seats in parliament. The two parties are the only ones that can forge a two-party coalition.
“Now it is most important to secure a strong government with a clear economic policy to improve the standard of living and increase people’s disposable income. I allow myself to be optimistic that such a coalition can be forged,” chair of the Independence Party Bjarni Benediktsson told Morgunblaðið.
He added to Fréttablaðið that it is most natural to forge a two-party coalition. “I’m prepared to lead such a government but it isn’t a given.”
Chair of the Progressive Party Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson told Fréttablaðið that he would let the issues decide with whom he is willing to cooperate in government.
The election results showed that people want to prioritize according to the Progressive Party’s emphasis, Sigmundur reasoned, and he will not back down from the party’s solutions to the debt problems of households, that is, a 20 percent write-off of all mortgages.
“[The election results] puts us in a strong position to demand that that will be the case,” Sigmundur told Morgunblaðið.
It is expected that Icelanders will get a clearer picture of what their next government will look like after the president has met with leaders of all parties today. Afterwards he will decide whom he will give the authority to lead discussions on forging a new coalition.