The Icelandic constitution will not be altered

The Icelandic government's intention to alter the constitution so it could be more easily amended in the future did not succeed due to resistence from the Independence Party. Today to alter the constitution it has to be approved by two parliaments. This means that to do that a government must step down and hold general elections.

The current center-left government's intention was to change this procedure so altering the constitution would be possible by putting it to a referendum and without the government having to step down. The idea was to change this alongside the general elections on April 25 but now this will not be possible until the next elections after that.

From the point of view of the social democrats, the senior government partner, these changes were seen as making it easier to get Iceland into the European Union since the Icelandic constitution does not allow the transfer of national sovereignty to EU institutions such membership would requires.

The junior government partner, the Left Green Movement which opposes EU membership, however, saw this as making the constitution changing procedure more democratic.

Flóknara að ganga í ESB (Mbl.is 17/04/09)