Iceland&#039s &#039Pirates&#039 eye electricity in snap vote after Panama Papers scandal

By | October 29, 2016

REYKJAVIK: Icelanders voted on Saturday (Oct 29) in a snap election that could see the anti-institution Pirate Social gathering type the future govt in the wake of the Panama Papers tax-dodging scandal and lingering anger more than the 2008 money meltdown.

Voters are expected to punish the incumbent coalition after the Panama Papers unveiled a world-wide tax evasion scandal that ensnared numerous senior politicians and compelled previous key minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson to resign.

Even though the recent govt of the conservative Independence Social gathering and the centrist Progressive Social gathering survived the scandal, it promised a snap election 6 months prior to the stop of its expression in spring 2017.

Key Minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, who is also the chairman of the Progressive Social gathering, was a single of the initial persons to vote when the polling station opened in the small Icelandic village of Fludir.

Voters defied rain and freezing winds to get to the polling stations which opened at 9:00 am (0900 GMT) in Reykjavik and a single hour later on in the countryside. The voting finishes at 10:00 pm (2200 GMT).

“I’m optimistic. We have found for the last days that a good deal of persons are coming to us,” Johannsson explained to AFP.

But a few individual polls produced a working day prior to the vote confirmed that the Pirate Social gathering, established in 2012 by activists, anarchists and previous hackers, could acquire up to 21 percent of the vote and the Left-Green motion up to 16.eight percent.

“What we have to have is security, security is way better than a left drive,” Larus, a 47-year-previous main money officer for an intercontinental business, explained to AFP.

But just about every of the polls, executed by the University of Iceland, investigation business MMR and Gallup, indicate the incumbent conservative coalition govt will possibly be voted out.

“We are shedding guidance (due to the fact of the) major anti-institution (emotion),” Independence Social gathering MP Birgir Armannsson claimed.


Closing election final results will be produced soon after polling stations close, but due to the fact no party is expected to acquire a the vast majority, Iceland’s destiny will only be recognized after put up-election coalition negotiations.

The most up-to-date wave of a world-wide motion versus institution politics, found in the US with onetime presidential applicant Bernie Sanders, the Five Star Motion in Italy, and the upstart Podemos party in Spain, the Pirate Social gathering could grow to be the parliament’s next largest group.

“I’m wanting for some adjustments. The system… is not all undesirable,” claimed Helgi Mar Gunnarsson, a 54-year-previous designer, adding that selection-creating should really be far more clear.

The persons of Iceland should really be “far more associated”, he explained to AFP.

The Pirates, who marketing campaign for transparency and the struggle

versus corruption, could type the nation’s next centre-left govt considering the fact that Iceland’s independence from Denmark in 1944. The Social Democrats and Greens ruled in a coalition amongst 2009-2013.

The Pirate Social gathering arrived at a pre-election arrangement with a few other leftist and centrist opposition get-togethers, together with the Left-Greens, the Social Democrats and the Vibrant Foreseeable future Motion, to type a coalition govt.

“We think that these get-togethers can cooperate quite well … I think it will be a quite feasible governmental decision,” Katrin Jakobsdottir, leader of the Left-Green motion explained to AFP.


Iceland, a volcanic island with a population of 332,000, has returned to prosperity considering the fact that its 2008 money meltdown.

Gross domestic products (GDP) advancement is expected to be higher than 4 percent this year many thanks to tourism revenues and a recovering money system.

Continue to, young persons do not believe in the nation’s traditional political get-togethers.

The crisis 8 a long time ago observed Iceland’s a few most important banking companies and its outsized money sector collapse, when the nation was compelled to seek a bailout from the Global Monetary Fund.

A string of bankers were jailed, the unsuccessful banking companies were temporarily nationalised and then marketed, and international traders experienced to take compose-downs on their debt holdings.

Olafur Hardarson, professor of political science at the University of Iceland, attributed the Pirates’ rise in reputation to voters’ anger at the 2008 meltdown.

“They have managed to focus on the anti-politics and anti-institution inner thoughts of a good deal of voters (who) have been pissed off in Iceland considering the fact that the lender crash,” Hardarson explained to AFP.

But numerous months ago, the Pirates experienced nearly two times the guidance the most up-to-date polls have demonstrated, in accordance to Icelandic newspaper Morgundbladid.

The slide in reputation could have been brought about by inside disputes within just the party, the paper additional.

“The Pirates are in fact a fairly free alliance of persons who are predominantly united in their opposition to traditional politics and the system,” the newspaper claimed.

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