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Did Iceland vote for the establishment party or...the Pirates?

Benedikt Johannesson of the Reform Party, Independence Party leader Bjarni Benediktsson, Birgitta Jonsdottir of the Pirate Party and Oddny G. Hardardottir of the Social Democratic Alliance take part in a debate ahead of parliamentary elections. Photograph: (Reuters)

WION Reykjav?k, Iceland Oct 29, 2016, 04.40 AM (IST)

Icelanders voted today in a snap election, with polls indicating the anti-establishment Pirate Party could topple the current-ruling government in the Nordic island country, international news agency Reuters reported. 

The island-nation of 332,000 people, especially the youth have become disenchanted with the current government after the 2008 financial meltdown and want change, according to AFP news agency. 

The snap election was promised by the current Independence Party and the centrist Progressive Party after several politicians were embroiled in the Panama papers scandal and former PM Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson was forced to resign following mass protests. 

The final election results will be known shortly after polling stations close.

"We're losing support (because of the) big anti-establishment (feeling)," Birgir Armannsson, member of parliament for the Independence Party, told AFP.

A poll conducted on October 27 by Visir and Stod 2 indicated 47 per cent approval for four opposition parties and 37 per cent for the ruling powers, Reuters reported.

The Pirate Party is co-founded by poet and former WikiLeaks spokeswoman Birgitta Jonsdottir in 2012. 

 

The Pirate Party -- founded in 2012 by activists, anarchists and former hackers -- campaigns for public transparency, institutional reform, individual freedoms, and the fight against corruption. (AFP)

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The anti-establishment party comprises of activists, anarchists and former hackers and they aim to bring public transparency, institutional reform, individual freedoms, and the fight against corruption.

The party also plans to offer asylum to former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden and remove restrictions imposed on bitcoin currency. 

The Pirates have an agreement to form a majority with the opposition Left-Green Movement, the Social Democratic Alliance and Bright Future. 

This would grant the coalition more than 50 per cent of total votes. 

Katrin Jakobsdottir, leader of the Left-Green movement told AFP, "We think that these parties can cooperate very well, they have many common issues. I think it will be a very feasible governmental choice."

Voter Einar Hannesson, a 42-year-old labourer, said, "I want change. I don't like everything that the Pirates are proposing, but if we want change, it's the best party," he said.

(WION with inputs from agencies)

 


 

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