According to the final election results that came on September 26, the Nordic island region, Iceland became the first European country where women hold more than half the seats in parliament. It was reported that the country, Iceland has outshined Sweden and Finland to have the highest proportion of female MPs. Icelandic national parliament really made history with the new election results and thus the gender equality is being marked, reported Iceland media soon after the election results.
But things have changed after a recount in the election process. It was claimed that the women candidates got a 52% vote share in the recently concluded Parliamentary elections. However, after a recount in western Iceland, it has changed the figure by 47.6%. Voters elected 33 women out of 63 seats to the country’s Althing parliament, Icelandic public broadcaster RUV confirmed earlier along with countries like Rwanda, Cuba, and Nicaragua which also fall into the category of highest female leaders in the parliament. None of the other countries in Europe has ever had a female-majority parliament yet and it was believed that Iceland would make the history but a recount of votes changed the destiny of the country. However, Iceland has topped the World Economic Forum’s gender equality rankings for the past 12 years and was the first country to elect a female president in 2018.
The election system is not the same for Iceland as if other countries do. Unlike some other countries, Iceland does not have legal quotas on female representation in parliament, though some parties do require a minimum number of candidates to be women.
The voting system in Iceland is divided into six regions and the recount in western Iceland was held following a tough contest in the Northwest constituency. The election saw the incumbent left-right coalition government, led by Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, increase its majority. Three parties in the outgoing coalition government led by PM Katrin Jakobsdottir won a total of 37 seats in Saturday’s vote, two more than in the last election, and appeared likely to continue in power.
After a decade of crises, PM Katrin Jakobsdottir led the first government that completed a full term in power. The prime minister’s Left-Green Movement lost three seats in parliament from the 11 it currently held and meanwhile, the country’s current finance minister, Bjarni Benediktsson, is eyeing the prime minister’s post.
Although Iceland is not a part of the European Union, the powers and the victory after election results are being widely discussed and praised among the other countries.