Iceland will have a male-majority parliament, Reuters reports

© Reuters File Photo: Icelandic Prime Minister Catherine Jacobsodti attends a news conference in Oslo, Norway in February, 2020. NTB Scanpix / Ole Berg-Rusten

By Stein Jacobsen and Jacob Granholt-Pedersen

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Iceland appears to have elected a female-majority parliament but Sunday’s vote count shows there will still be more men than women in the chamber, state broadcaster RUV reported.

Thirty women were elected to the 0-seat parliament in Saturday’s election, up from 2 in the previous vote. Preliminary results showed that 33 women were elected before the recount counted late Sunday night.

The National Election Commission did not publish the results on its website and could not immediately be reached for comment.

According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, only three countries – Rwanda, Cuba and Nicaragua – have more women in parliament than men, with Mexico and the UAE accounting for 50/50.

In Europe, women are represented in the parliaments of Sweden and Finland at 47% and 46%, respectively.

Iceland, a North Atlantic island with a population of 371,000, was ranked the world’s most gender-equal country for the 12th year in a row by the World Economic Forum (WEF) report released in March.

Opinion polls predicted that the ruling coalition would fall short of a majority, but with the support of the Center-Right Progressive (NYSE 🙂 party, which won five more seats than in 2017, the coalition’s total number pushed RUV to 37 seats.

Members of the current government, made up of Prime Minister Catherine Jacobsodter’s left-green movement, the Conservative Independence Party and the Progressive Party, have said they will discuss continued co-operation if they hold on to their majority before the election.

President Goodney Johanneson has said he will not give a mandate to any party to form a new government but will look forward to coalition talks between the three parties.

With 16 seats unchanged from the last election, the Independence Party is the largest in parliament. Party leader and former prime minister Bjarni Benediktsson said he was hopeful the three parties could form an alliance and that he would not demand leadership of the new government.

The left-green movement won eight seats, down from 11 in the 2017 election, although two MPs left the party shortly after the last election.

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