During their meeting at Bessastaðir, the Icelandic presidential residence, today, President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson formally gave Left-Green Movement Leader Katrín Jakobsdóttir the mandate to form a government, RÚV reports. He stated he expected Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament to convene soon.
At a press conference following their meeting, Guðni stated he had spoken with Katrín by phone yesterday, after meeting with Independence Party Leader Bjarni Benediktsson. Bjarni came to Bessastaðir to announce that his attempts to form a government with the Reform Party and Bright Future had failed. During the telephone conversation yesterday, Guðni asked Katrín if she would take on the responsibility to form a government, which she accepted.
“We discussed that even though there must not be too much rush, we must act quickly. She showed my opinion full understanding, and in her conversations with you, she will no doubt tell you what her next steps will be,” Guðni explained. Katrín and he plan to speak again this weekend, or Monday or Tuesday at the latest, to review the progress.
Guðni admitted it had been clear since the October 29 election that forming a government would prove complicated. “I believe that in this, as in so many other things, patience is a virtue,” he remarked.
Katrín told reporters she humbly accepts the challenge and plans to contact leaders of other political parties tomorrow. A party group meeting of the Left-Green Movement began in Alþingishúsið, the parliamentary building, at 2 pm.
She reiterated that her first choice would be to form a center-left government.
When asked about policy, she stated the main issues were ensuring increased equality in society, reinforcing the health care and educational systems, and addressing urgent environmental issues.