It appears as if a committee which was appointed to decide the fate of the Constitutional Assembly after the Supreme Court invalidated its election will suggest that the 25 elects be appointed to a constitutional council, whose ideas on constitutional changes will be taken into consideration by the Icelandic parliament, Althingi.
Inside Althingi. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.
President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson’s decision to refer the new Icesave legislation to a national referendum disrupted the committee’s plans, Fréttabladid reports.
On Friday the majority of the committee was of the opinion that a new election should be held among the candidates who ran for the Constitutional Assembly in November, although the Left Green representative on the committee made a disclaimer regarding the cost of a new election.
However, the president’s decision on Sunday caused the majority of the committee to no longer look at a new election as a viable option. They feel it is impossible to have two campaigns at the same time, one where the pros and cons of the Icesave legislation are highlighted and another where the candidates to the Constitutional Assembly are introduced.
Among the government leaders’ first reactions to the upcoming referendum was that a new Constitutional Assembly election might be held at the same time. That declaration came as a surprise to the committee and, according to Fréttabladid’s sources, is considered an unfortunate interference with their work.
Now the majority of the committee is of the opinion that in light of the circumstances it should be suggested to the parliament and government that a constitutional council be appointed which is to discuss changes to the constitution.
Reportedly, the government leaders have come to realize that arranging a new Constitutional Assembly election in two months might not be possible, especially considering the Independence Party’s strong opposition to the idea.
For a new election to be held, the law on the Constitutional Assembly, which was passed last summer, would have to be amended, and the government is concerned the Independence Party might delay the legislation long enough for it to be impossible to hold a new election at the same time as the Icesave referendum.
Minister for Internal Affairs Ögmundur Jónasson is expected to announce a date for the referendum on Friday. According to law, it will be held no later than April 20.