Gudmundur Steingrímsson, a substitute MP for the Social Democrats and assistant of former Mayor of Reykjavík Dagur B. Eggertsson, has decided to leave the party and join the Progressive Party instead.
“My decision is first and foremost based on the fact that there is a certain basis for renewal, development and revaluation within the Progressive Party,” Steingrímsson told Fréttabladid. “I find that respectable and I plan to participate in that development and plan to do so wholeheartedly.”
Steingrímsson said much can be gained from rebuilding the Progressive Party. In his opinion the party should be liberal, progressive, relatively free from extremism and leaning towards socialism.
Steingrímsson is not satisfied with the current Independence Party-Social Democrat coalition in Iceland’s government.
“I cannot accept the course of events of the past few months, which have been characterized by confusion, rashness and lack of transparency. I cannot see that this course of events coincides with the basic visions of the Social Democrats and I known that many members of the party agree with me on that,” Steingrímsson said.
Steingrímsson said it had not been discussed whether he would participate in the fight for the party’s chair. The Progressive Party’s chairman, Gudni Ágústsson, recently resigned from politics and its vice-chairman, Valgerdur Sverrisdóttir, who is currently serving as chairman, is not planning to run for the post.
Eggertsson said he is disappointed with Steingrímsson’s decision because he knows that Steingrímsson generally agrees with the Social Democrats and disagrees with the Progressive Party, however adding, “Of course I hope that he will be successful in changing the Progressive Party.”
Steingrímsson is the son of Steingrímur Hermannsson and grandchild of Hermann Jónsson, both of whom have served as chairmen of the Progressive Party and prime ministers.