Iceland’s Prime Minister Resigns
Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, the Prime Minister of Iceland, resigned Tuesday, April 5th, and is now being considered the first casualty of the Panama Papers.
Caught up in massive controversy, Gunnlaugsson’s office initially stated that he would not resign. It was instead implied that he would be ‘handing over’ the office to another member of parliament, so that they may hold it until his return in an unspecified amount of time (The Guardian). The Icelandic public did not take kindly to this statement, or to the Panama Paper’s controversy in general. Staging massive protests across major cities, the public has demanded not only the resignation of the Prime Minister, but his entire cabinet as well.
Steingrimur Oli Einarsson, a protester, is quoted saying “we were hoping parliament would be dissolved,” and that sentiment is prevalent amongst other protesters: “Of course we’re happy the Prime Minister has stepped down. But we are not satisfied with who is taking over from him, and with the fact that the government itself is still there” (The Guardian).
While the move is still pending the approval of the leader of the opposition (The Independence Party) and the Prime Minister himself, many are unsatisfied with just the resignation of Gunnlaugsson. Leaders of other parties have demanded snap elections, the dissolving of parliament, and have even issued a vote of no-confidence in the current government.
The damage caused by the Panama Papers, a series of leaked documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, is widespread, and the true scope of the scandal remains unknown.