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Icelandic lawmakers to vote on no confidence motion

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

An Icelandic lawmaker was Thursday scrambling to garner enough votes for a no confidence motion against the government, less than two months before general elections are scheduled to be held in the country.

The bill was presented late Wednesday and will be put to the Althing on Friday, but state broadcaster Ruv said it was unlikely it would be backed by the tiny nation's parliament.

Thor Saari of the populist Movement party said the government had reneged on a promise to adopt a draft constitution, backed by voters in an October referendum, this mandate period.

"The government obviously seems to oppose the will of the people for a new constitution," he said in the bill.

"Such a government can ... not stay in power and should therefore step down," he added.

The new basic law was dubbed the world's first "crowd-sourced constitution" since it was drafted by 25 ordinary citizens who received input from users of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Ballots included six questions on topics such as the role of the country's natural resources and of the national church.

But less than half the country went to the polls amid uncertainty over whether the results would be implemented.

Since then the ruling coalition has said no changes should be made to the constitution until next year.

Iceland's financial collapse in 2008 during the global economic crisis provoked huge social movements and the demand that any new constitution be drawn up by ordinary citizens became irresistible.

"The proposals of the constitutional committee... are major improvements in the form of the country's government," social democratic Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir told the Althing in the run-up to the October vote.

"Should we make these proposals the basis of a new constitution? My answer is 'yes'," she said.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130307/icelandic-lawmakers-vote-no-confidence-motion