The R-coalition formed by the Social Democratic Alliance, the Progressive Party and the Left-Green Party in Reykjavik is debating how to select candidates for next the municipal elections, scheduled for 2006. The three parties have fielded a joint slate of candidates in Reykjavik since gaining power in 1994.
According to daily Fréttablaðið, the Social Democrats have proposed that the slate of candidates be selected in a primary open to all voters. The Progressives and the Greens are said to prefer that the parties divide the slots on the slate between themselves and be left to their own devices to choose their respective candidates. The three parties are also discussing who to field as a mayoral candidate.
Separately, Iceland State Radio, RUV, reports that the Greens are frustrated with what they see as “dishonest” tactics by the Social Democrats. The Greens claim that the Social Democrats are emphasizing discussions of how the candidates should be selected at the expense of the issues.
Meanwhile, the representatives of the opposition Independence party have started jockeying for the lead position on their party’s slate. The Independence party currently has six representatives to the R-coalition’s eight, and one of them, justice minister Björn Bjarnason, is expected to retire.
As yet, there are no news from the camp of the Liberals. Medical doctor Ólafur F. Magnússon, who split from the Independence party before the last elections, sits in the Reykjavik municipal council on their behalf.