THE ICELANDIC PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN WAKE OF PANAMA PAPERS SCANDAL


27/11/2016





The Icelandic parliamentary elections are currently expected to take placebefore 27 April 2017 andscheduled to be heldon 29 October 2016.In April, followingrevelations of11 million pages of documents in the Panama Papers, leaks from a law firm operating in Panama, namely Mossacce Fonseca, has accused Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson (Progressive Party) of concealing millions of dollars' worth of family assetsin an offshore company. The leaks has showed that Gunnlaugsson owned an offshore company with his wife in British Virgin Islands and had significant investments in the major Icelandic banks that collapsed during the financial crisis which began in 2008. While dozens of high-profile global figures mentioned in the 11.5 million leaked financial and legal records, Gunnlaugssonhas been mostly affected since he has stepped down.Then Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson was appointed as prime minister but Gunnlaugsson’s government remained in place. After his replacement, Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson assumed to hold the election on 29 October.Who will win?Iceland is a Constitutional Republic with a parliamentary government and members of the parliament are elected in general elections held every four years by proportional representation with open list. The parliament which is called as “Alþingi” and has 63 members and the President of Iceland jointly exercise legislative power.Executive power is exercised by the President and other governmental authorities.In the Icelandic parliamentary election was held on 27 April 2013 and the election was won by the two centre-right parties, the Independence Party(26,7%) and Progressive Party (24,4%)who formed a coalition government. On the other hand, The Pirate Party got 5.1% of the votes and stay just above the 5% threshold for leveling mandates. After the Panama Papers scandal, recent opinion polls show that people' support for Pirate Party has increased while support for the conservative and liberal blogs –Progressive and Independence Party- is still continuing. In the opposition, the Pirate party, founded in 2012 under the leadership of one of the Wiki Leaks activist Birgitta Jonsdottir, is claiming to stay outside of the left-right wings politics and campaigning for more transparency, internet freedom and a fight on corruption. In short, we will see what will happen in October.
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