Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Iceland's government collapses over letter in support of paedophile

Eiríkur Bergmann Einarsson professor of politics at the University Eiríkur Bergmann Einarsson professor of politics at the University of Iceland
Ellis Copeland | 17 September, 2017, 03:36

In Iceland it's possible for convicted paedophiles to apply to have their record wiped of their past convictions.

The Bright Future party has four seats in Iceland's parliament, the Althingi.

That leaves the country, whose economy was wrecked by the collapse of its banking system almost a decade ago, facing its second snap election in less than a year. Iceland's economy is booming after the government earlier this year dismantled the last of the capital controls that had been in place since 2008. The previous government was felled by the Panama Papers scandal over offshore tax havens.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Benediktsson said: "We have lost the majority and I don't see anything that indicates we can regain that".

REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - Iceland's prime minister said on Saturday the president had accepted his request for a snap parliamentary election, and November 4 had been discussed as a possible date.

Mr Benediktsson told Sky News this week that the United Kingdom should have taken stronger action against bankers involved in the financial crisis and he was surprised that it had not followed his country's example jailing senior bankers.

The government collapsed on Friday after Bright Future left the three-party, centre-right coalition, stripping it of its one-seat parliamentary majority. Johannesson was not immediately available for comment.

Now it looks as though Iceland is heading towards another election, less than a year after the last tumultuous election campaign which revolved around a different type of scandal.

Iceland's public broadcaster said the prime minister's Independence Party found out about the letter back in July but didn't disclose it. On Thursday, the media reported that not only Benediktsson's father had signed such letter, but that Benediktsson was aware of this fact, but did not tell other coalition members.

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Former Australian resident Birgitta Jonsdottir of the Pirate Party.

Sveinsson said he had not discussed the letter with anyone.

"I believe that we will get past this very fast", Benediktsson said.

Tsvangirai, who leads a broad coalition of opposition parties, is due to challenge his long-time political foe President Robert Mugabe at an election next year.

"First, it was illegal for me to indulge the information, second, I informed them when I could".

The prime minister's father wrote a letter to help an old friend have his criminal record expunged after he was convicted of sex offences against children.

Letters of recommendation are required for this procedure.

"What was supposed to be a small gesture of good will towards a convicted criminal has instead turned into a continuation of the tragedy for the victim".

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