Iceland government survives no confidence vote

The government in Reykjavik has survived yesterday’s vote of no confidence with a margin of 32 votes against 30. One MP abstained.

The Left Green Party (which is part of the government) MP Asmundur Einar Dadason voted with the opposition to bring the government down, saying he intends to resign from the parliamentary Left Green group today — something he has now done. His reason for withdrawing support for the government is that he wants the Icelandic EU application to be withdrawn or put on hold with immediate effect and believes the government is pushing ahead too quickly, RUV reports.

The no confidence vote was submitted along with a vote to adjourn parliament until a new national election. That vote was defeated 36-22. Five abstained.

The debate was high in rhetoric and sometimes had an air of theatre: Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir lambasted Independence Party leader Bjarni Benediktsson for threatening to call for a vote of no confidence and neglecting to do so until now. The vote would galvanise the government, the PM said.

Progressive Party leader Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson said in parliament that he wouldn’t trust the current government to run a hot dog stand in profit, let alone the country. Finance minister and Left Green leader Steingrimur J. Sigfusson retorted that he doesn’t see the opposition as totally useless, saying that he probably would trust Gunnlaugsson to profitably run a hot dog stand; but added that the opposition should be able to see what everyone else can already see: that Iceland is now already recovering from its worst ever recession and exceeding expectations due to good, stable government.

Progressive Party MP Gudmundur Steingrimsson abstained in the voting, saying he had no intention of taking part in the theatrics.

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