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The Boston Globe

World

Iceland puts center-right in control

REYKJAVIK, Iceland — In a dramatic about-face, Icelandic voters have returned to power the center-right parties that led the national economy to collapse five years ago.

With all votes counted Sunday, the conservative Independence Party and rural-based Progressive Party — who governed Iceland for decades before the 2008 crash — each had 19 seats in Iceland’s 63-seat Parliament, the Althingi.

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The parties, who vow to ease Icelanders’ economic pain with tax cuts and debt relief, took 51 percent of the vote between them, and are likely to form a coalition government.

Voters shunned the Social Democrat-led coalition that has spent four years trying to turn the nation around with austerity measures. The Social Democrats took nine seats and their former coalition partners the Left-Greens got seven. A pro-Bright Future party has six seats and Web freedom activists, Pirate Party, has three.

‘‘We are . . . very grateful for the support,’’ said Independence Party chief Bjarni Benediktsson. He or Progressive Party chief Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, 38, will probably become Iceland’s next prime minister.

The shift to the right will almost certainly shelve Iceland’s plans to join the European Union.

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