Two members of the Icelandic Left Green Movement have today resigned from the parliamentary party. Both say they will remain in the Athingi parliament as independents and both will remain personal members of the Left Green Movement. The government still enjoys a slim majority.
“This is a regrettable decision by them. They are fine individuals and good allies in our cause,” says Left Green Minister for the Interior Ogmundur Jonasson on today’s resignation of MPs Atli Gislason and Lilja Mosesdottir. “I am a supporter of the socialist left agenda and will remain so. I can confirm that the government still has a parliamentary majority,” the minister added.
Jonasson was asked his opinion because he once resigned from this government due to perceived violations of Left Green principles; but he has since come back to the cabinet.
DV reports that Gislason and Mosesdottir will not form their own party, but will instead sit as independent MPs, supporting or opposing the government when they see fit. At a press conference today they explained that they feel they can no longer support the government unconditionally following unpopular decisions on the national budget, the IMF, Icesave and joining the EU within the party.
Both MPs failed to vote in favour of their own government’s national annual budget proposal last December — which is a highly unusual decision which severely altered their relations with the party. Both MPs believe the government is doing more in favour of the IMF than for the country’s cherished welfare system.
According to RUV, Mosesdottir and Gislason rue that Iceland has a poorly developed political culture and that the country is still an autocracy (foringjaræði) and the Left Greens are by no means innocent, they say. Both MPs will continue to support the “true” Left Green agenda from outside the parliamentary party and neither intends to resign from the national party, despite removing themselves from the party within Althingi.