Vote counting deprives Iceland of a female majority parliament

Iceland appeared to have elected a female majority parliament, but a vote count on Sunday showed there will still be more men than women in the chamber, state broadcaster RUV reported.

Thirty women were elected to the 63-seat parliament in Saturday’s election, up from 24 in the previous vote. Results prior to Sunday night’s recount had shown that 33 women were chosen.

The National Electoral Commission has not published the results on its website and could not immediately be reached for comment.

Only three countries, Rwanda, Cuba and Nicaragua, have more women than men in parliament, while Mexico and the United Arab Emirates have a 50/50 split, according to data from the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

In Europe, Sweden and Finland have 47% and 46% representation of women in parliament, respectively.

Iceland, a North Atlantic island of 371,000 people, was ranked the most gender-equal country in the world for the twelfth year in a row in a World Economic Forum (WEF) report released in March.

Opinion polls had predicted that the ruling coalition would fall short of a majority, but an increase in support for the center-right Progressive Party, which won five more seats than in 2017, brought the total coalition count to 37, according to RUV. .

Members of the current government, which consists of Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir’s Left-Green Movement, the conservative Independence Party and the Progressive Party, said before the election that they would negotiate continued cooperation if they maintained the majority.

President Gudni Johannesson said he would not hand over a mandate to form a new government to any party, but would await coalition talks between the three parties.

The Independence Party remained the largest in parliament with 16 seats, unchanged since the last elections. Party leader and former prime minister Bjarni Benediktsson said he was optimistic that the three parties could form a coalition and that he would not demand that he lead a new government, RUV reported.

The Left-Green Movement won eight seats, up from 11 in the 2017 elections, although two MPs left the party shortly after the last elections.

(REUTERS)

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