Independence Party given mandate to form Iceland government

FRANK AUGSTEIN						Credit AP				Birgitta Jonsdottir of the Pirate Party speaks Sunday at a news conference in Reykjavik Iceland

With voters still angered by the 2008 financial crisis and the naming of several government figures in an offshore tax haven scandal this year, Icelanders looked to oust the center-right coalition in its current form. The Pirates won 10 seats in Iceland's 63-member Parliament, up from three in the last election.

Jóhannesson has just announced that he has given the Independence Party the mandate to form the next government. Jóhannesson today, Ótarr Proppé, chairman of Bright Future, suggested that Reform Party Chairman Benedikt Jóhannesson be given the mandate to form a government, mbl.is reports.

Regeneration, a new party that recently splintered the Independence Party and took seven seats, has previously ruled out going into coalition with either the Independence or Progressive parties so they will probably sit by themselves sulking in the corner never invited to anyone's party.


The Pirates - anti-authoritarian advocates of direct democracy and digital freedom - nearly tripled their vote share from 5 percent in 2013 to 14.5 percent, and will get 10 seats in Iceland's parliament, the Althingi. Its good score and its position in the centre of Iceland's tradition left-right spectrum have led commentators to dub the party the new "kingmaker' in Icelandic politics".

The result was better than expected for the Independents, who have governed in coalition since 2013. Like Spain's Podemos or the movement behind Bernie Sanders in the US presidential race, it drew in throngs of young supporters who ran the Pirates' largely volunteer-driven campaign.

KitGuru Says: If the Pirate Party were to get a seat at the global level like this, it would be a major boon for much more progressive ideals.

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