The Pirate Party Sets Sail for Election Victory In Iceland
Iceland’s Pirate Party is expected to win the largest share of the vote in the country’s Oct. 29 general election, less than four years after the fringe political group formed. Its rise is the latest, and perhaps most colorful, in a string of anti-Establishment insurgencies throughout Europe, from the far left to the far right Led by former WikiLeaks activist and “poetician” Birgitta Jonsdottir, the Pirate Party formed in the wake of the collapse of Iceland’s hugely overleveraged banking industry following the 2008 financial crisis. After the Panama Papers revealed in early 2016 that former Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson held investments in offshore accounts, support for the movement surged to 43% in an April poll. The party says it wants to be the “Robin Hood” of politics by handing power back to Icelanders and seeks to make the country a haven for hackers and whistle-blowers. But forming a stable government could present a challenge. The party has ruled out working with the current center-right coalition, which includes Gunnlaugsson’s Progressive Party, and may have to seek an alliance with at least two smaller parties.
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