The Independence Party will submit a vote of no confidence against the government today, propose that the parliament be dismissed and new elections held, as the party’s chairman, Bjarni Benediktsson, announced in parliament yesterday.
Bjarni Benediktsson. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.
Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir welcomed the vote, saying the Independents are contributing to a tighter union between the coalition parties. She requested of the speaker of parliament that the discussions on the vote of no confidence begin as soon as possible, ruv.is reports.
Discussions on the vote of no confidence will begin at 4 pm and can take up to five hours. Afterwards, MPs will cast their votes.
Benediktsson made the announcement during yesterday’s discussions in parliament on the outcome of Saturday’s Icesave referendum. He said the government lacks trust, support and a vision for the future. “It is in the nation’s interest that elections be held as soon as possible.”
“Finally the opposition has the guts to submit a vote of no confidence against the government. It has said it would submit a vote of no confidence many times before without carrying it through,” Sigurdardóttir commented.
Chairman of the Progressive Party Sigmundur Davíd Gunnlaugsson said his party will support Benediktsson’s vote of no confidence as the current government is unfit to rule the country, both in terms of Icesave and general lack of action in most matters.
Progressive Party MP Höskuldur Thórhallsson told visir.is that although he welcomed the vote of no confidence it is based on weak arguments given that the Independence Party backed the new Icesave legislation which the nation rejected in the referendum.
He added that it is not at all certain that all members of his party will support the vote of no confidence.
The last vote of no confidence to be submitted in the Icelandic parliament was made by the then opposition leader Steingrímur J. Sigfússon against the government of Geir H. Haarde at the end of November 2008. The vote was rejected.