Leader of Iceland’s right not keen on coalition with Pirates

Bjarni Benediktsson.

Bjarni Benediktsson. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Eggert Jóhannesson

If the most recent opinion polls are to be believed, Iceland’s only hope of a two-party majority government after upcoming general elections is a coalition between the centre-right Independence Party (‘Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn’) and the direct democracy Pirate Party (‘Píratar’).

But this seems like an unlikely scenario, as Independence Party leader – and current Finance Minister of Iceland – has expressed “serious doubts” about the Pirates as a credible party of government, in an interview with Bloomberg.

MORE: Iceland’s Pirates top polls as primaries get under way

In the last opinion poll conducted by Gallup (29 July), the two parties came out on top, with the Independence Party gaining 26.2% and the Pirates, 25.3% (see below).

63 MPs sit in Alþingi, the parliament of Iceland.

63 MPs sit in Alþingi, the parliament of Iceland. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Styrmir Kári

“We will work with those that get democratic support in the elections, as long as we can create a functioning government,” Benediktsson told Bloomberg.

 “But I have very serious doubts about the Pirate Party as a trustworthy partner and especially as a governing party,” he says, stopping short, however, of ruling anything out.

MORE: Politics in Iceland: A beginner’s guide

The Pirate Party was founded in 2012 and gained its first seats in the Icelandic Parliament (‘Alþingi’) in the general elections of 2013.

By contrast, the Independence Party was founded in its current form in 1929 and has served in twenty out Iceland’s thirty coalition governments since 1944.

Icelanders go the polls on 29 October.

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