Iceland premier quits amid father’s scandal
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Iceland President Gudni Th. Johannesson on Saturday accepted the resignation of the island’s prime minister. A new election will likely be Nov. 4.
Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson lost his nine-monthold, center-right coalition after one party quit over an attempt by the premier’s father to help clear the name of a convicted pedophile.
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 over 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. For that, a letter of recommendation by a close friend or an associate is needed.