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Leaders Disagree who Should Form Government

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Leaders Disagree who Should Form Government

Alþingi, Iceland's parliament

From Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament. Photo: Páll Kjartansson.

Following the Icelandic parliamentary election, the leaders of the Reform Party and the Independence Party disagree on who should get the mandate to form a government.

Founder and Chairman of the Reform Party Benedikt Jóhannesson believes it would be realistic for his party to be given the mandate to form a government, following the election. When interviewed by RÚV, he argued that his new party is the one that gained the most in the election, having received 10.5 percent of the vote and seven seats in parliament. The result, in his opinion, is a call from voters for change and a broader coalition. He believes that since the Reform Party is a center party, it could naturally lead such negotiations.

Before the election, Pirates invited the Reform Party for negotiations on cooperation with the opposition, which the Reform Party declined.

Benedikt stated that although the Independence Party is the largest following the election, with 29 percent support, that doesn’t necessarily mean its leader, Bjarni Bendiktsson, should be given the mandate to form a government. The president, he pointed out, should give that mandate to the person he considers the likeliest to be able to form an operational government.

Chairman of the Independence Party, Bjarni Benediktsson, disagrees. He believes it’s obvious that his party will be given the mandate to form a new government. He admits, however, that won’t be an easy task.

Bjarni told RÚV he is ready to take on the challenge to lead a three-party government. He is going to look at all possibilities, but pointed out the party has the least in common with the Pirate Party.

Benedikt Jóhannesson is the publisher of Iceland Review.

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