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The World | IN BRIEF / ICELAND

Leftist Group Gains on Ruling Conservatives

May 11, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

Iceland's ruling conservatives took a wafer-thin lead in elections, losing ground to a leftist alliance seeking to install the nation's first female prime minister, but with half the votes counted the result was too close to call.

Prime Minister David Oddsson had 34.5% of the vote, a poor result for the Independence Party, which has ruled Iceland for 50 of the last 70 years. The Social Democratic Alliance was close with 32.3%. A junior coalition partner, the Progressive Party, could tip the balance of power either way if it remains close.

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