In Iceland results in the country's general elections have shown significant gains for the Centre Progressive party but on Tuesday (4 December) the formation of a new government appeared to have run into difficulty.
GV AND PAN FROM: The Cathedral TO parliamentary buildings.
SV: People entering polling booths and voting. (3 shots)
GV: Geir Hallgrimsson, leader of Independence party and former Premier voting with his wife.
GV: Bendikt Groendal, Leader of the Social Democrats and acting premier voting with his wife. (2 shots)
GV: Olufur Johannesson, outgoing Prime Minister of the leftwing coalition voting. (2 shots)
The final results in the general elections held on Sunday and Monday (2 and 3 December) were as follows: Independence Party 21 seats (20 seats in the 1978 election), Progressive Party 17(12), Social Democrats 10(14), and Communists 11(14). In addition one breakaway member of the Independence Party was elected.
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Background: In Iceland results in the country's general elections have shown significant gains for the Centre Progressive party but on Tuesday (4 December) the formation of a new government appeared to have run into difficulty.
SYNOPSIS: At stake in the elections held over two days were all sixty seats in the Althing, the world's oldest parliament which was founded in 1930.
it was Iceland's first winter general election and there was a large poll. Voting in Reykjavik and other districts was heavy with between eighty-five and ninety percent of the hundred and forty-five thousand registered voters casting ballots. The general election was called in October following the collapse of the three-party coalition that had ruled iceland for just over a year.
Independence Party Leader and former premier Geir Hallgrimmson, whose party gained the twenty-one seats conceded the election results were a disappointment to him. An expected swing towards his party did not occur.
Since the fall of the old government the Social Democrats, led by Prime Minister Benedikt Grondal, have ruled in a caretaker role. He was expected to visit President Kristjan Eldjarn on Tuesday (4 December) to offer his resignation but a number of politicians said there was no clear indication of what type of government would now be formed.
For the past thirteen months the left-wing coalition government was led by Olafur Johannesson seen here casting his vote. Observers say his government fell as a result of the eighty-five percent inflation rate which has plagued Iceland. Rapid increases in the price of imported oil caused Iceland's inflation. The country is heavily dependent on imported oil from the Soviet Union to fuel its fishing fleet and warm homes.