Row over pae­dophile ‘cover-up’ brings down Ice­land coali­tion

The Daily Telegraph - - World News - By Our For­eign Staff

ICE­LAND is fac­ing its sec­ond elec­tion in a year af­ter the coali­tion gov­ern­ment col­lapsed yes­ter­day when one party quit over the prime min­is­ter’s cover-up of his fa­ther’s sup­port for a pae­dophile.

Bright Fu­ture left the three-party cen­tre-right part­ner­ship, strip­ping it of its one-seat par­lia­men­tary ma­jor­ity.

Its ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee said it has “de­cided to ter­mi­nate co-op­er­a­tion with the gov­ern­ment” be­cause of a “se­ri­ous breach of trust”.

Bright Fu­ture ac­cused Prime Min­is­ter Bjarni Benedik­ts­son of fail­ing to tell the gov­ern­ment his fa­ther, Benedikt Sveins­son, had signed a let­ter sup­port­ing a con­victed pae­dophile’s bid to have his crim­i­nal record erased.

Ice­landic law al­lows con­victs to ap­ply for “re­stored hon­our” sub­ject to the sup­port of per­sons of good char­ac­ter.

Mr Benedik­ts­son’s In­de­pen­dence Party, the Re­form Party and Bright Fu­ture formed a gov­ern­ment only nine months ago af­ter a vote last Oc­to­ber.

“The prime min­is­ter will likely re­sign,” said Pro­fes­sor Ola­fur Har­dar­son of the Uni­ver­sity of Ice­land.

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