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First in Europe: Iceland elects more women lawmakers than men

As many as 33 women voted into 63-seat parliament

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 26, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Sep 26, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago

Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir talks to supporters of her Left Green Movement at a party event in Reykjavik on September 25. Photo: AFP

For the first time in European politics, there are now more women lawmakers on Iceland’s parliament than men.

As many as 33 women have been voted into the 63-seat parliament, Icelandic public broadcaster RUV confirmed.

Iceland’s ruling coalition retained majority in Saturday elections even as Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir’s party suffered losses, final results showed.

However, it remains to be seen if the three-party coalition that governed the island nation for the past four years will stick together. They said before the election that they would enter negotiations if they held on to their majority.

With all votes counted, Jakobsdottir’s Left-Green Movement, the agrarian center-right Progressive Party, and the conservative Independence Party held 37 of the 63 seats in parliament.

Jakobsdottir led the first government that completed a full term after a decade of crisis.

The island nation held elections five times between 2007 and 2017 because of a series of scandals and deepening mistrust of politicians.

Although the prime minister herself has not lost popularity, but her party has been gradually losing support.

As many as eight parties will enter Iceland’s 1,100-year-old parliament, the Althing, giving the parties other coalition options.

The prime minister’s Left-Green Movement lost three seats in parliament from the 11 it currently held.

“We will have to see how the governmental parties are doing together and how we are doing,” Jakobsdottir told AFP.

The Independence Party has retained the same number of seats it previously held — 16.

Led by Bjarni Benediktsson, who currently holds the post of finance minister, is vying for the post of prime minister.

“These numbers are good, (it’s a) good start to the evening,” he told public broadcaster RUV.

The center-right Progressives made the largest gains, advancing to become the second-largest party in parliament, winning 13 seats, a quantum leap from its previous tally of 8.

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