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Icelandic voters elect center-right parties promising to speed recovery from economic collapse

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    Chairman of the Progressive Party Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, left, and Independence leader Party Bjarni Benediktsson pose together following general elections on Saturday, April 27, 2013, in Reykjavik, Iceland. Five years after Iceland's economic collapse, early returns signaled that voters are favoring the return of a center-right, Eurosceptic government, widely blamed for the nation's financial woes. Gunnlaugsson and Benediktsson were the two most likely candidates for prime minister under the system of proportional representation used for elections to Iceland's 63-seat parliament, the Althingi. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti)The Associated Press

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    Supporters of the Progressive Party celebrate while watching general election returns on a television, on Saturday, April 27, 2013, in Reykjavik, Iceland. Five years after Iceland's economic collapse, early returns signaled that voters are favoring the return of a center-right, Eurosceptic government, widely blamed for the nation's financial woes. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti)The Associated Press

  • 7a464fa43ec54b0e300f6a7067009a91.jpg

    Progressive Party chief Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson hugs a supporter following general elections on Saturday, April 27, 2013, in Reykjavik, Iceland. Five years after Iceland's economic collapse, early returns signaled that voters are favoring the return of a center-right, Eurosceptic government, widely blamed for the nation's financial woes. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti)The Associated Press

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 most votes counted early Sunday, the Independence and Progressive Parties — who governed Iceland for decades before the 2008 crash — each had 19 seats in Iceland's 63-seat parliament, the Althingi.

The parties, who promise to ease Icelanders' economic pain with tax cuts and debt relief, are likely to form a coalition government.

Voters shunned the Social Democrat-led coalition that has spent four years trying to turn the country around with painful austerity measures. The Social Democrats took nine seats and coalition partners the Left-Greens seven.

Independence Party leader Bjarni Benediktsson says voters opted for "a plan that would bring us quicker out of the crisis."