Iceland premier loses coalition, resigns
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Iceland’s president Saturday accepted the resignation of the volcanic island’s prime minister, who says a new election most likely will be held on Nov. 4.
Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson lost his 9-month, center-right coalition after one party quit over an attempt by the prime minister’s father to help clear the name of a convicted pedophile.
President Gudni Th. Johannesson met Saturday with Benediktsson and was meeting with other party leaders later in the day.
A small centrist party, Bright Future, quit the ruling coalition Friday after it emerged that Benediktsson’s father had written a letter urging a pardon for Hjalti Sigurjon Hauksson, who was convicted in 2004 of raping his stepdaughter almost every day for 12 years.
Under Iceland’s judicial system, a person who has served a sentence for a serious crime can apply to authorities to “restore their honor” and seek employment again, meaning their criminal record is erased.