First female-majority European parliament nearly elected in Iceland

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Iceland nearly elected its first female majority parliament after an election where the country’s center-right party won the most seats.

According to an initial vote count on Sunday, female candidates won 33 of 63 seats in Iceland’s parliament which is known as the Althing, The Associated Press reported.

But a recount that took place hours later in western Iceland showed that female candidates only won 30 seats, just missing the majority, the AP reported

A three-party coalition led by Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir won a total of 37 seats, seeming to secure its power.

Despite the recount, Norway’s election outcome still represents the largest percentage of female lawmakers in Europe at 48 percent, the AP said.

Other non-European countries including Cuba, Nicaragua and Mexico have just over a 50 percent majority female leaders while 61 percent of Rwanda’s leaders are female, more than any country in the world, the AP reported. 

Iceland’s election was not as successful for its left-leaning parties, which tend to have more female candidates. The center-right Independence Party which won 16 seats, while the centrist Progressive Party won 13 seats, according to the AP. 

One of the women elected over the weekend was 21-year-old law student Lenya Run Karim who will become Iceland’s youngest lawmaker to date. 

“I want to improve Iceland’s treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers,” Karim, who is a member of the anti-establishment Pirate Party, said to the AP.

The World Economic Forum published a report in March that named Iceland “the most gender-equal country in the world for the 12th time” in a row. 

Updated 5:30 p.m.

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