Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, agreed in a vote yesterday, with 35 in favor and 15 against, to organize an advisory national referendum on the Constitutional Council’s proposal for a new constitution no later than October 20, 2012.
Inside Alþingi. Archive photo by Páll Kjartansson.
Those who most strongly opposed the referendum were MPs from the opposition’s Independence and Progressive parties, who reasoned that substantial debate about the draft had not taken place and that solidarity on how to proceed was lacking, ruv.is reports.
Birgir Ármansson of the Independence Party commented during the voting that the draft was a bad idea, and that the whole affair had gone from one mess-up to the next.
However, members of the coalition parties declared the day to be historical for Iceland’s parliament and a reason to celebrate.
At the same time, parliamentarians voted on a proposal submitted by Vigdís Hauksdóttir of the Progressive Party on whether a national referendum on discontinuing accession talks with the European Union be held simultaneously.
The proposal was rejected with 34 votes against and 25 in favor. Two coalition members, Guðfríður Lilja Grétarsdóttir and Jón Bjarnason of the Left-Greens, voted in favor of the proposal, while six members of the opposition voted against it, Fréttablaðið reports.
Click here to read more about the constitutional draft.