August 9, 2022

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Iceland goes to the polls and prepares for sophisticated consequence

The North Atlantic island of 371,000 residents has seen a interval of stability since 2017 below the ruling left-right coalition, after years of political scandals and mistrust of politicians following the 2008 monetary disaster.

The present authorities coalition led by Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir’s Left-Green Movement gained its mandate on a promise to safe stability after Icelanders went to polls 5 occasions from 2007 to 2017.

In 2017, the Left-Greens, who name themselves a “radical left wing party,” teamed up with unlikely companions — the pro-business Independence Party and the center-right Progressive Party — to the anger of some within the occasion grassroots.

While Jakobsdóttir stays common, polls counsel her occasion will lose help, marking the tip of her coalition. Support for the Independence Party, Iceland’s largest occasion, can also be declining, however the election consequence should give former Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson a mandate to kind a brand new authorities.

A shattered political panorama will make it tough to kind a brand new authorities, however Jakobsdóttir could search a coalition with different left-wing events that opinion polls counsel will achieve help.

“If we get such a government, we are going to see some changes when it comes to taxation of the rich, and environmental questions are going to be more important,” stated Baldvin Bergsson, political analyst at broadcaster RUV.

Climate change is a vital challenge for Icelanders, who prefer to name their nation the “Land of Fire and Ice” due to its other-worldly panorama of volcanoes and glaciers used within the HBO TV sequence “Game of Thrones.”

Iceland has already pledged to attain carbon neutrality by 2040, nicely forward of most different European nations, however particularly youthful voters are pushing for even bolder steps.

Left-wing events are additionally calling for extra authorities spending on healthcare, which has been a very powerful matter within the election.

Successful weathering of the pandemic and the lifting of coronavirus restrictions has reopened borders, offering a wanted increase to the very important tourism sector, which attracted some 2 million international guests in 2019.

“The pandemic was a huge blow to the important tourism industry,” stated Stefania Oskarsdottir, a political scientist at University of Iceland, including that prime public spending has fueled optimism.

“Despite coming out of a deep recession, the average Icelander feels that these are good times,” she stated.

Polls open at 04:00 EST on Saturday and shut at 17:00 EST with a last consequence anticipated on Sunday morning.

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