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Formal Coalition Talks Possibly this Week

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Formal Coalition Talks Possibly this Week

Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktsson speaking at the Independence Party general meeting in 2013.

Bjarni Benediktsson. Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

Independence Party Leader Bjarni Benediktsson believes it would be best to form a three-party government in Iceland, but doesn’t exclude the possibility of requiring the fourth party, although he admits he is not fond of that idea, RÚV reports. He is hopeful to be able to begin official talks on forming a government in coming days and plans to inform President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson on his progress sometime this week.

A parliamentary election took place October 29, after which the president gave Bjarni the mandate to form a government.

Bjarni met with the leaders of Bright Future and the Reform Party, Óttarr Proppé and Benedikt Jóhannesson, yesterday, and the topic of discussion was likely the possibility of a coalition between the three parties. Bjarni stated they had spoken more than once. He said it had been known beforehand that forming a government with more than two parties would be complicated. “And that’s what I’ve been doing, talking to my party and evaluating all the pros and cons of these parties’ reaching an agreement.”

Óttarr told Bylgjan radio this morning it was no secret that there is a considerable difference between what the Progressive Party and Bright Future had to say and everything pointed to prolonged negotiations.

Bjarni noted that not everything depended on him; the conversations had gone well. A few days had been needed to reduce the tension following the election. He planned to hear from people today and said he was hopeful that formal talks could begin in coming days.

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