Sigrún Davíðsdóttir's Icelog

The Constitutional Assembly and Icesave

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After the Icelandic Supreme Court declared the election to the Constitutional Assembly invalid, the Icelandic government is now mulling over its next step. The ruling was based on the fact that the fundamental criteria of elections hadn’t been met: not enough secrecy and the candidates weren’t allowed to follow the counting of the votes. This doesn’t seem to have had any influence on the results but it’s enough that the criteria wasn’t met.

The Althingi committee that supervised the election has claimed that since Althing had passed a special law on the CA the normal criteria for elections didn’t have to be fulfilled as long at the election itself had been duly carried out. The Supreme Court begged to differ.

There is now an almighty political row going on regarding whose blame and whose fault it was. PM Johanna Sigurdardottir, whose appearance in Althingi is ofter rather dull, showed a raging spirit yesterday, accusing the Independence Party to gloat because they were opposed to the idea of a CA that could show that the country really wanted a national ownership of natural resources.

A friend of mine pointed out that if she really wanted to connect with the mood of the people she should put a one-off levy on high earners to pay for a new round of election. That would really give her her earlier standing as Saint Johanna – though it wouldn’t appease her opponents. However, as the editorial in Frettabladid points out,it’s time that the dilettantism in Icelandic politics ends. Adding to that, it’s difficult to see this last course of events as anything but a gigantic blunder and embarrassing mistake.

But where is Icesave now? Althingi now has Icesave on its programme. The new Icesave agreement is being debated there, so far only in a committee. Earlier this week, the committee said it needed more time, which might surprise some since it’s been on the agenda for a looong time. This new upheaval might slow down the course of Icesave or it might be an all time attention diverter. Be that as it may but it seems that Icesave is no longer the hot topic in Icelandic politics but a rather tepid one. Recent poll shows that half of the voters think that the government should solve the issue and the pay what there has to be paid to the UK and the Dutch.

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Written by Sigrún Davídsdóttir

January 26th, 2011 at 11:07 am

Posted in Iceland

One Response to 'The Constitutional Assembly and Icesave'

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  1. trying to appease those who will not be appeased is simply caving in. I hope Johanna learns that more quickly than Obama.

    Knute Rife

    31 Jan 11 at 9:37 pm

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