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Minister of Justice to Face Vote of No Confidence

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Minister of Justice to Face Vote of No Confidence

Minister of Justice Sigríður Andersen

Photo: Sigríður Á. Andersen/Facebook.

MPs from the Pirate Party and Social Democratic Alliance have decided to put forth a motion of no confidence against Minister of Justice Sigríður Á. Andersen, RÚV reports. The decision is in response to Sigríður’s handling of appointments to Iceland’s Landsréttir, or Land’s Court, a new mid-tier court which took effect this January.

Minister of Justice Sigríður Á. Andersen received heavy criticism this year from opposition MPs for failing to follow the recommendations of a selection committee in her nominations to the new court. The four individuals who were passed over by the minister have all sued the state for compensation and damages. In the cases of nominees Ástráður Haraldsson and Jóhannes Rúnar Jóhannsson, the Supreme Court recently ruled they be compensated ISK 700,000 (USD 6,800/EUR 5,600) but denied their claim to liability for damages.

Logi Einarsson, chairperson of the Social Democratic Alliance, stated it was absolutely impossible for Sigríður to continue in her post as Minister of Justice. Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir stated in parliament yesterday she has full confidence in the minister.

The parties proposed the motion to parliament sometime before midnight yesterday, but it has yet to be officially presented. It is likely the first time in decades a motion of no confidence is put forth against an individual minister. According to Pirate Party Chairperson Þórhildur Sunna Ævarsdóttir, all the main issues in the case have come to light. “We have been waiting for the right moment to reveal our opinion,” she stated, “and believe it has come and we see no other than to bring this forth and see who trusts the Minister of Justice.”

Þórhildur expressed her hope for widespread support of the motion in parliament but is uncertain whether it will be a majority.

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