Published: Sun, September 17, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Chaos in Iceland after prime minister's father tries to clear pedophile's name

Chaos in Iceland after prime minister's father tries to clear pedophile's name

The Bright Future party accused the premier of committing a "breach of trust" after failing to inform the rest of the government that his father had written a letter vouching for the character of a convicted child molester so he could apply for a legal "clean slate".

"We have lost the majority and I don't see anything that indicates we can regain that", he added.

Iceland's Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson speaks during a press conference in Reykjavik, Iceland September 15, 2017.

The centrist Bright Future Party said there was a "serious breach of trust" after allegations emerged that the prime minister tried to cover up his father's role in clearing the record of a convicted pedophile. On Thursday, the media reported that not only Benediktsson's father had signed such letter, but that Benediktsson was aware of this fact, but did not tell other coalition members.

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Icelandic journalist Hjortur Gudmundsson said the coalition's position was already fragile, as it had a majority of only one parliamentary seat before Bright Future withdrew its support.

Together the three parties held the slimmest of majorities — 32 of the 63 seats in parliament following the October 29 election, which was called after the former prime minister resigned amid protests over his offshore holdings that were revealed in the Panama Papers leak.

Andersen told broadcaster Stod 2 that she had informed Benediktsson about his father's involvement in July but had not told anyone else. "I am calling an election".

Tsvangirai, who leads a broad coalition of opposition parties, is due to challenge his long-time political foe President Robert Mugabe at an election next year.

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Sveinsson said he had not discussed the letter with anyone.

"I was shocked to hear that", the 47-year-old Benediktsson said.

Letters of recommendation are required for this procedure.

Mr Sveinsson has confirmed he signed a letter supporting his friend's application to have his "honour restored" by Iceland's judicial system. "The outlook for Iceland is very bright and strong".

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"What was supposed to be a small gesture of good will towards a convicted criminal has instead turned into a continuation of the tragedy for his victim".

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