So close! Iceland almost gets female-majority parliament

Iceland Election

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Iceland briefly celebrated electing a female-majority parliament Sunday, before a recount produced a result just short of that landmark for gender parity in the North Atlantic island nation.

The initial vote count had female candidates winning 33 seats in Iceland’s 63-seat parliament, the Althing, in an election that saw centrist parties make the biggest gains.

Hours later, a recount in western Iceland changed the outcome, leaving female candidates with 30 seats, a tally previously reached at Iceland's second most recent election, in 2016. Still, at almost 48% of the total, that is the highest percentage for women lawmakers in Europe.

Only a handful of countries, none of them in Europe, have a majority of female lawmakers. According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Rwanda leads the world with women making up 61% of its Chamber of Deputies, with Cuba, Nicaragua and Mexico on or just over the 50% mark. Worldwide, the organization says just over a quarter of legislators are women.

“The female victory remains the big story of these elections,” politics professor Olafur Hardarson told broadcaster RUV after the recount.