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Political Negotiations in Disarray

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Political Negotiations in Disarray

Bessastaðir.

Bessastaðir, the presidential residence. Photo: Páll Kjartansson.

Independence Party Leader Bjarni Benediktsson met with Icelandic President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson at 5:30 pm. After the meeting, he told reporters he had explained to the president that his attempt to reach an agreement with the Reform Party and Bright Future had failed. Still, he has not formally returned the mandate to form a government. "In a way, the next step is the president's to make," he stated, but mentioned he had spoken with the leaders of other political parties today, that is, those of the Left-Green Movement and the Progressive Party. Still, he admitted he had no guarantee from those parties for continued talks.

Bright Future Leader Óttarr Proppé told RÚV he found it likely that Left-Green Movement Leader Katrín Jakobsdóttir would be given the mandate to form a government. Reform Party Leader Benedikt Jóhannesson would not predict what happened next. He told reporters earlier today that Bjarni had expressed interest in bringing the Progressive Party to the coalition in order to have a stronger majority government, something the Reform Party opposed.

Update: Following the meeting with Bjarni, the president spoke with the leaders of the other political parties by phone. After those conversations, he made the decision to invite Left-Green Movement Leader Katrín Jakobsdóttir to Bessastaðir, the presidential residence, tomorrow at 1 pm.

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