Sex-crime scandal triggers snap election
REYKJAVIK – 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 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 sex-crime 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 five years in prison in 2004 for the sexual abuse of his underage stepdaughter.
Benediktsson is said to have known since July that his father was the author of the letter.