A Poet and ‘Pirate’ Could Become Iceland’s Next Prime Minister

Former WikiLeaks supporter and poet, Birgitta Jonsdottir, may become Iceland’s next prime minister.

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World
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Birgitta Jonsdottir may become Iceland’s next prime minister if elections are held on Thursday. (Photo: YouTube screengrab)

A poet and former WikiLeaks supporter who says ‘revolution’ is her favourite word, Birgitta Jonsdottir, may become Iceland’s next prime minister if elections were held on Thursday.

She leads the Pirate Party, set up by a group of outsiders and activists in 2012 with the same name as protest parties in other countries, and it would get a record 43 percent of the vote, according to a poll released on Wednesday.

Consistently topping surveys in the past year, the Pirates’ popularity has surged after the release of the Panama Papers, which showed Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson’ wife owning an offshore company with claims on Icelandic banks.

This infuriated many Icelanders who said it was an undeclared conflict of interest and he stepped aside on Tuesday, providing another boost for the anti-establishment Pirate Party which campaigns for transparency.

The nation has decided that enough is enough. They have shown in great number they want something different. For some reason, that different thing seems to be my political party.
Birgitta Jonsdottir
 Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, has faced flak after it came to light that his wife owned an offshore company with claims on Icelandic banks. (Photo: Reuters)
Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, has faced flak after it came to light that his wife owned an offshore company with claims on Icelandic banks. (Photo: Reuters)

The Pirates won 5.1 percent of votes in the 2013 election giving it 3 seats in parliament including one for Jonsdottir. Its policies include granting citizenship to former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden and less stringent copyright enforcement rules.

She said her party belonged to the same global movement for change that includes US Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras and his leftwing Syriza party, and others in Europe where mainstream political parties are fending off populists.

We are living in a time where we are seeing real big transformative forces, where the general public is expressing in a very affirmative way that they want a different type of governance: they want more engagement. In particular, I have seen it very clearly with Podemos in Spain and the Five-Star Movement in Italy.
Birgitta Jonsdottir

The Pirate Party is pushing for a snap election and if there is no real change in the government, it will table a motion of no confidence on Friday, she said.

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