: First Casualty of Panama Papers: Iceland Prime Minister resigns

10:32 Apr. 6, 2016

First Casualty of Panama Papers: Iceland Prime Minister resigns

Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, as he speaks during a parliamentary session in Reykjavik, on April 4, 2016 (AP)

Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson stepped down on Tuesday

Iceland's prime minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson became the first major casualty of the Panama Papers revelations, stepping down on Tuesday (April 5) after leaked files showed his wife owned an offshore firm with big claims on the country's collapsed banks.

The ruling Progressive Party's deputy leader Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, who holds the fisheries and agriculture portfolio, told reporters after a party meeting that the party planned to name him as the new leader.

Gunnlaugsson stepped down ahead of a planned vote of no-confidence, hours after asking President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson to dissolve parliament.

The president said he would talk with the main parties before making a decision. Dissolving parliament would almost certainly lead to a new election.

Later on Tuesday, Iceland's opposition parties said they still wanted a snap general election despite news that Gunnlaugsson will resign.

There were protests again on Tuesday evening, but significantly smaller than Monday's.

The Panama Papers showed the premier's wife owned an offshore company with big claims on Iceland's banks, an undeclared conflict of interest for Gunnlaugsson.

Read also #PanamaPapers: The Ukrainians exploiting offshore financial havens

Gunnlaugsson is the first casualty of the "Panama Papers": millions of leaked documents revealing financial arrangements of politicians and public figures from around the world from a Panama law firm that specialises in setting up offshore companies.

Reporting by Reuters


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