Iceland's Left Greens given mandate to seek to form government

November 16, 2016 8:39 AM EST

Katrin Jakobsdottir of the Left-Green Movement smiles before taking part in a debate ahead of parliamentary elections in Iceland, October 28, 2016 .REUTERS/Geirix

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REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - Iceland's Left Green leader Katrin Jakobsdottir was asked by the president on Wednesday to try to hammer out a ruling coalition a day after the center-right Independence Party said it had failed to form a government.

President Gudni Johannesson told local media he had given her the mandate to form a government after a short meeting between the two.

Jakobsdottir is expected to try to negotiate a center-left majority with the anti-establishment Pirate Party, the Social Democratic Alliance, Bright Future and the Reform Party.

A government with those parties would get 34 seats in the 63-seat Althingi.

The president gave the mandate to Independence Party earlier this month after it emerged the biggest party in the Oct. 29 election. After days of negotiation, the party's leader returned the mandate after coalition talks failed yield a working coalition.

(Reporting by Ragnhildur Sigurdadottir; Writing by Daniel Dickson; Editing by Niklas Pollard)

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