Icelandic parliament passes constitutional change bill

A parliamentary resolution on the forming of a constitutional council has passed Iceland’s Althingi parliament. The council will be held instead of a constitutional parliament, because the public election result was voided by the Supreme Court.

The resolution was passed with 31 votes for, 21 against and seven no-votes, reports.

Instead of the 25-member constitutional parliament the public voted on last year, parliament will now appoint the same 25 people who were elected on to a constitutional council. The election was voided on technical grounds and there was no suggestion that the 25 people elected did not represent the will of the people.

The council will have a non-binding consultative role and will present parliament with recommendations on how to change the national constitution for the better.

Any of the 25 who do not want to sit on the council will be replaced by the person who received the next-highest number of public votes.

Althingi passed the resolution despite opposition from the Independence Party and reservations from several government MPs, including Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson.

The resolution was put forth by Alfheidur Ingadottir, Birgitta Jonsdottir and Valgerdur Bjarnadottir.

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