While the initial election results put Iceland on course to become the first European country with a female-majority parliament, making international headlines, the new tally shows the female MPs fell short of the mark.
Multiple media outlets reported on Sunday that Iceland’s parliamentary elections propelled more women into the country’s legislature than men in a first for Europe. Reports citing local electoral officials put the number of would-be female lawmakers at 33, and men at 30.
Icelandic public broadcaster RUV called the election historic, while numerous public figures rushed to congratulate Reykjavík for the results, which were portrayed as a victory for gender equality.
1/2 Historic elections in Iceland more women (33) than men (30) won a seat in the #Icelandic Parliament – a first not only in Iceland but all of Europe and beyond #genderequality#IcelandElection#x21pic.twitter.com/28OZqS35fH
Bravo Iceland ??! In European first, women in majority in Iceland’s parliament. 33 women and 30 men in new parliament after election. ?https://t.co/J4v5v1evFXpic.twitter.com/BeY8NloDa2
Following yesterday’s election, the Icelandic parliament is Europe’s first parliament where women form the majority ? #icelandpic.twitter.com/ZvEOUsZgPM
Some drew parallels between Iceland’s parliament and less women-dominated legislatures in other developed countries, such as Canada and the US.
How awesome is this! 52% of the seats in Iceland’s Parliament have been won by women! First time the 50% threshold has been breached! Way to go, Iceland! ???#AddWomenChangePolitics (PS Canada – at 30% we have a long way to go!) https://t.co/AzknnNFfL1
According to projections, Iceland is about to elect the first majority-woman parliament in European history. It’s expected 52% of their legislative body will be women.By comparison, 27.4% of the U.S. House and 24% of the U.S. Senate are women, both records.
The updated tally, released late Sunday, however, showed that men will retain their fragile majority in the 63-seat parliament with 33 seats, AFP reported, citing the head of the electoral commission in one of the six Iceland’s constituencies, Ingi Tryggvasonmen.
Tryggvason said the decision to hold a recount, which robbed Iceland’s female lawmakers of their chance to enter the history books, was made because the “result [of the elections] was so close.” The official said that no party had requested the recount.
The recount did little to change the political make-up of the future parliament. Iceland’s ruling left-right coalition of three parties led by Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir received the majority of votes, and is expected to renegotiate the tripartite deal.
It remains to be seen if Jakobsdottir will continue to serve as prime minister, after her Left-Green Movement won 8 mandates as opposed to 11 in the 2017 election. She could be replaced by the leader of the Independence Party, Bjarni Benediktsson, whose party retained its 16 seats.
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