Iceland’s ruling coalition boosts majority in election

Three parties in the coalition won 37 of the parliament's 63 seats.

Iceland’s ruling coalition boosts majority in election

Iceland’s ruling coalition boosted its majority in an election Saturday, according to results published Sunday. 

The country’s three governing parties together took 37 out of 63 seats in Iceland’s parliament, state broadcaster RUV reported.

The parties are now expected to enter coalition negotiations, and it remains unclear whether Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir will remain in the top post. 

The conservative Independence Party won 24.4 percent of the vote and 16 seats, maintaining its level of support compared to the previous election. The Progressive Party, meanwhile, experienced a surge, winning 17.3 percent and 13 seats — five more than in the previous ballot. 

Prime Minister Jakobsdóttir’s Left-Green Movement came in at 12.6 percent with eight seats, a decline compared to the previous election. 

At a debate ahead of the election, Independence Party leader Bjarni Benediktsson said that the outgoing government is the first three-party coalition in Iceland to finish its term, and that if its majority holds, the three groups will discuss staying in a coalition for another four years. 

Source : Politico EU More   

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Swiss voters set to back same-sex marriage

Initial projections suggest strong backing for bid to widen rights of same-sex couples.

Swiss voters set to back same-sex marriage

The majority of Swiss voters have backed same-sex marriage in a referendum, according to initial projections. 

While same-sex couples in Switzerland are currently able to enter registered partnerships, they do not enjoy the same rights as married couples.

But under an amended law up for a referendum, same-sex couples would be allowed to have civil weddings and be granted equal rights, including adopting children together and applying for simplified naturalization. Female couples would also receive access to regulated sperm donation. 

Sixty-four percent of participants in the nationwide vote support the plans, according to projections by the gfs.bern institute, conducted for public broadcaster SRG.

Olga Baranova, head of the Swiss marriage for all campaign, welcomed the results. 

“We’re extremely relieved, we’re extremely happy,” she told POLITICO in a phone interview on Sunday afternoon. “This is really a historical day,” she added, with the outcome reflecting “how accepted LGBT people are in Switzerland.” 

Nevertheless, Baranova said there are more fights ahead in the push for Swiss equality. “The campaign was quite homophobic,” she said. “So the fight against homophobia will continue.”

Full results are expected later on Sunday.

Source : Politico EU More   

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