Iceland on Saturday holds its second snap election in just a year after a slew of scandals ensnaring its politicians in a nation whose economy is thriving thanks to tourism. Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson of the conservative Independence Party called the vote last month after a junior member of the three-party centre-right coalition quit the government over a legal scandal involving the prime minister’s father. Saturday’s vote will be the fourth time Iceland has held legislative elections since its 2008 financial crisis, when its three major banks collapsed and the country teetered on the verge of bankruptcy. With the emergence of several anti-establishment parties, Iceland’s political landscape is splintered, with at least eight parties vying for the 63 seats in the single-chamber parliament.
Under the Icelandic system, the president tasks the leader of the biggest party with trying to form a coalition government.
“The fear is whether there will be a possibility to form a government,” Arnar Thor Jonsson, a law professor at Reykjavik University, told AFP, recalling that negotiations to form a coalition after the October 2016 election took three months.
“There seems to be a growing instability in Icelandic politics,” Jonsson said.