After maintaining their majority in last Saturday’s election, the leaders of Iceland’s three governing parties are now discussing the possibility of extending their coalition for another term, RÚV reports. Left-Green Movement Chairperson Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Progressive Party Chairman Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, and Independence Party Chairman Bjarni Benediktsson met yesterday and today to discuss the potential for continued collaboration. The three have been tight-lipped as to the content of their talks, though they say no big decisions have been made.
Following last Saturday’s election, the Independence Party remains the largest in Iceland’s Alþingi, maintaining their 16 seats and 24.4% of the vote. The Progressive Party enjoyed the most gains of any party, winning five additional seats for a total of 13 (or 17.3% of the vote) while the Left-Green Movement lost three of their former 11 seats, earning 12.6% of the vote. These three parties, which formed Iceland’s previous governing coalition, now have a comfortable majority of 36 out of 63 seats.
Ministries may change hands
The shifts to the number of seats would imply that Ministries might shift between parties as well. In the previous government, the Left-Green Movement leader Katrín was Prime Minster and the party held two other ministries. The Progressive Party held three ministries while the Independence Party held the remaining five, including the Ministries of Finance and Justice. Bjarni stated yesterday that no decision had been made on which of the party leaders would be Prime Minister if a coalition were formed.
After a morning meeting between the three today, Katrín stated that the parties were still going over the main issues at this point. Bjarni stated that the parties “need some days to talk through particular issues,” while Sigurður Ingi stated “It’s a serious matter to prepare a government for an entire term.”
The trio decided to begin informal talks despite a controversial recount of votes in the northwest constituency, which has some politicians calling for a partial revote.