The chairmen of the Left-Green Movement, Independence Party, and Progressive Party continued their governing coalition negotiations yesterday. The three chairmen Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Bjarni Benediktsson, and Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson have played their cards close to their chest as far as the talks are concerned, but now say their coalition agreement is far along. The new government will, however, not be presented until the Credentials Committee completes its investigation of election proceedings in the Northwest Constituency.
Seven weeks have passed since Iceland’s parliamentary election on September 25, 2021. The governing coalition held its majority in the election, and three parties have been holding regular negotiations to define their continued collaboration since that time. The ministers now say that the main content of the coalition agreement has been ironed out, but confirm they will not present the new government until the investigation in the Northwest Constituency is completed.
Election investigation to take at least one more week
Uncertainty hangs over the election results from Iceland’s Northwest Constituency. Over a dozen legal complaints have been filed due to election proceedings in the constituency, where ballots were left unsealed and unsupervised between the initial count and recount that occurred the following day. The Credentials Committee has met 22 times to investigate the case and recently stated it will be at least another week before its final report is submitted to Parliament. Time is of the essence, as Parliament is required to pass a budget bill before the end of the year.
Division of ministries still unconfirmed
Bjarni stated yesterday that the division of ministries between the three parties is yet to be confirmed. The Independence Party has expressed interest in taking on the Ministry of Health, currently in the hands of the Left-Greens. The party leaders have also expressed the possibility of reorganising ministries, including establishing a ministry of infrastructure. According to Bjarni, however, ministry assignments have not been discussed much at this point in the talks.