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No Party Wins Majority in Iceland Parliamentary Poll

  • VOA News

Pirate Party members react after early results of the parliamentary elections are announced in Iceland, Oct. 29, 2016. The advocates of direct democracy and digital freedom almost tripled their vote share from 5 percent in 2013 to 14.5.

Pirate Party members react after early results of the parliamentary elections are announced in Iceland, Oct. 29, 2016. The advocates of direct democracy and digital freedom almost tripled their vote share from 5 percent in 2013 to 14.5.

Iceland's prime minister resigned Sunday after an election in which no party gained a parliamentary majority needed to form the next government.

Outgoing Prime Minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson of the centrist Progressive Party said he would hand the president his resignation in accordance with the constitution and he would stay in, if asked, until new government is formed.

The Independence and Progressive parties that have governed in coalition since 2013 together won 29 seats in the 63-member parliament.

The radical Pirate Party, formed just four years ago, scored big gains, but not as much as opinion polls had shown. The Pirates, anti-authoritarian advocates of direct democracy and digital freedom, almost tripled their vote share from 5 percent in 2013 to 14.5 percent, and will get 10 seats in Iceland's parliament. Together with its three center-left allies they won 27 seats.

The Left-Green movement, with 15.9 percent of the votes, will also get 10 seats in a parliament.

The results show that Iceland’s parliament would be split between parties of the right and left.

The election was dominated by Iceland's economy that is recovering mostly due to a tourism boom, with low unemployment and high growth, and voters' desire for political reform after the naming of several government figures in an offshore tax haven scandal this year.

Asked whether he considered his party the winner, Independence leader and current Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson told Reuters he would prefer to form a three-party coalition, but he declined to say with whom.

Pirate Party member Smari McCarthy, who will be one of the party's 10 lawmakers, tweeted, "Epic success! There are a lot of coalition possibilities; lots of work ahead."

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