Icelandic centre-left coalition secures majority in parliamentary elections

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir.
Prime Minister of Iceland and leader of Social Democratic Alliance

In an election on Saturday, the Social Democratic Alliance and Left-Green Movement have won 34 of 63 seats in the Althing, the Icelandic parliament. They share approximately 52% of the popular vote.

In February 2009, the centre-right Icelandic government, led by the eurosceptic Independence Party, resigned following mass protests following the collapse of the island's economy. The Social Democrat Alliance and Left-Green Movement formed an interim government under Johanna Sigurdardottir.

The Social Democrat Alliance is eager to start negotiations with the European Union regarding membership and adoption of the Euro. Their partner, the Left-Green Movement, wants a referendum about EU membership, and whilst the Social Democrats have said they will honour this, analysts predict this result will place pressure on the Left-Green Movement.

The Progressive Party won 9 seats, with 14% of the vote, whilst the Citizens' Movement won 4, with 7.2% of the vote.

This is the worst election result for the centre-right Independence Party in decades, after their government's policies saw unemployment rise to about 10% and the króna nearly halve in value against the Euro and dollar.

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