Pirate Party members arrrrrrrre going to reshape Iceland’s politics
By Steve Almasy, CNN
Updated 8:34 PM ET, Fri December 2, 2016
- Pirate Party was born to fight for internet reform
- Icelandic members also campaign for self-determination and other ideals
(CNN)Oh, not those kinds of pirates. Darn it.
Perhaps life in Iceland would be even more interesting if governmental control were given to swashbuckling pirates, but the Pirate Party isn’t into plundering and pillaging. As far as we know.
Still, it makes for a curious headline when you hear that Iceland’s president is telling the nation’s relative newcomer Pirate Party to form a new government.
More well-known parties from the left and right failed, so now it is up to the Pirates.
President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson met Friday with Pirate Party Chairwoman Birgitta Jónsdóttir, giving her the mandate to start negotiations to form a new government, a statement on the website for the president’s office said.
In Iceland, the mandate to form a government requires the party charged to negotiate with the other parties to form the government.
If Jónsdóttir -- formerly with WikiLeaks -- and the Pirate Party reach an agreement with the other parties, it is likely that Jónsdóttir will be given the post of prime minister.
"Historical opportunity to focus on reforms. Super excited and humbled by this chance. We will do our best," she said on Facebook.
So what is the Pirate Party?
It is based on the original Pirate Party, which was formed in Sweden to bring about internet reform. The Icelandic version came to be four years ago, and it also wants to limit patents.
"The Icelandic Pirate Party’s core policies include direct democracy, transparency, civil rights, the right to self-determination, public access to information and responsible decision making," a statement on the party's website says.
There are 10 Pirates in Iceland’s Parliament after elections in October. That gave the Pirate Party the third-largest representation in the Althing.
Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned in April after leaked documents hacked from a Panamanian law firm revealed his links to an offshore company, triggering mass protests in the capital.