Vastavam web: Iceland’s president today accepted the resignation of the volcanic island’s prime minister, who says a new election mostly likely will be held on November 4.Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson lost his nine-month- old, centre-right coalition after one party quit over an attempt by the prime minister’s father to help clear the name of a convicted paedophile.
President Gudni Th Johannesson met today with Benediktsson and was meeting with other party leaders later in the day.Under Iceland’s judicial system, a person who has served a sentence for a serious crime can apply to authorities to “restore their honour” and seek employment again, meaning their criminal record is erased. For that, a letter of recommendation by a close friend or an associate is needed.Benediktsson took office in January, uniting his Independence Party, the Reform Party and the centrists.
Together they held the slimmest of majorities – 32 of the 63 seats in parliament following the October 29 election, which was called after the former prime minister resigned amid protests over his offshore holdings that were revealed in the Panama Papers leak.Benediktsson said yesterday that some Icelandic laws were “completely out of sync with modern values,” according to the nation’s largest newspaper Morgunbladid. He was quoted as saying he was “in shock” when he heard about the letter.Benediktsson, a former finance minister, was also named in the Panama Papers as having held a stake in a Seychelles- based investment company.