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Iceland to hold closely contested snap parliamentary elections


Iceland to hold closely contested snap parliamentary elections

Iceland flag spinner
Photo: smcgee

Almost exactly a year after last October’s parliamentary snap elections, Icelanders will head to the polls again today. The new elections were necessary after the current government coalition fell apart over a scandal involving sexual abuse, a controversial legal practice and the father of Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson.

Ironically, the election which ushered Benediktsson into power was also caused by a scandal, namely the revelations of the Panama Papers. Although Benediktsson–who served as finance minister at the time–was implicated in the scandal as well, his conservative Independence Party was able to gain two seats and subsequently head the government coalition.

But after today’s election, Benediktsson may well find himself in opposition. While his Independence Party is in a neck-to-neck race with the Left-Green Party, his former coalition partners may not even make it into parliament.

Regardless, with up to eight parties who will likely make it past the 5% threshold, forming a stable government will be no easy feat, neither for Benediktsson, nor for anyone else.

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