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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Tripartite Coalition to Govern Iceland after Agreement Reached

COPENHAGEN – The leaders of three Icelandic political parties announced Thursday they would be forming a tripartite coalition government led by the leader of the Left-Green Movement.

The three-way coalition was reached after three weeks of negotiations between Katrin Jakobsdottir’s democratic socialist and green party, the conservative euro-skeptic Independence Party and the center-right Progressive Party.

On Wednesday night, an agreement to form a coalition was approved by the leadership of the respective parties that would see Jakobsdottir take the reins as prime minister.

The announcement came a month after the European nation held general elections – the second such poll in a year owing to political scandals.

During a press conference with the other leaders of the newly-announced coalition, Jakobsdottir acknowledged that it had taken a while to arrive at a government.

She said that they had always kept in mind the importance of working together and wanted to work with the opposition in a lot of ways.

Ensuring Iceland’s economic and political stability as well as improving the health system were among the themes to be presented by the new government in a meeting with the President Guoni Johannesson later Thursday.

The conservatives will hold five of 11 portfolios, including the finance, foreign and justice ministries, while the other two parties will take on three each.

Though the Independence Party won the elections, it lost the most seats (from 21 down to 16) in a poll called over a scandal involving its leader and Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson.

The elections were called after a coalition between the conservatives, progressives and the liberal Bright Future parties collapsed following accusations that Benediktsson had covered up a letter written by his father recommending a friend and convicted pedophile have his “honor restored.”

Iceland – which suffered its worst economic crisis in its recent history in 2008 – had already held elections a year ahead of schedule after Progressive Party PM Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned over his alleged links to the Panama Papers.

 

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