Sex scan­dal trig­gers vote in Ice­land

Times Colonist - - World -

Ice­landers are be­ing called to the polls af­ter a sex-crime scan­dal in­volv­ing the prime min­is­ter’s fa­ther caused the col­lapse of the coun­try’s three-party coali­tion gov­ern­ment that was formed only eight months ago.

Elec­tions have been pro­posed for Nov. 4, sub­ject to par­lia­men­tary ap­proval, af­ter Pres­i­dent Gudni Th Jo­han­nes­son ac­cepted the res­ig­na­tion of Prime Min­is­ter Bjarni Benedik­ts­son on Satur­day.

Ice­land’s Bright Fu­ture party said it was pulling out of the rul­ing coali­tion, ac­cus­ing the con­ser­va­tive In­de­pen­dence Party of at­tempt­ing to cover up a sex­crime scan­dal in­volv­ing Benedik­ts­son.

The prime min­is­ter’s fa­ther, Benedikt Sveins­son, wrote a let­ter to the Jus­tice Min­istry call­ing for the crim­i­nal record of a con­victed sex of­fender to be erased. The man had been sen­tenced to 5 1⁄ 2 years in prison in 2004 for the sex­ual abuse of his un­der­age step­daugh­ter.

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