Iceland Calls For Snap Election With Prime Minister Allegedly Involved In Child Exploitation
It’s a shame for a country when its servants or public officials get involved in nasty controversies but even more when such deals involve minors. Well, the unfortunate thing is that it’s happening lately and Iceland’s Prime Minister, Bjarni Benediktsson, who is also a member of one of the wealthiest families in Iceland, is now facing accusations for exploiting a child. This series of controversies caused a financial crash to the country’s economy and led the Icelandic parliament to call for snap elections last Saturday. This is the first time the parliament body had called a snap election in just 6 months, which really makes sense especially since it’s also the first time the financial decline brought the country to its knees in over a decade.
The Politicians Have Been Hit with Various Financial and Ethical Controversies Nowadays
Even though Iceland’s industry and the economy have been thriving, thanks to the tourist’s boom, the ethical controversies of their top politicians greatly affect the voter’s trust. In fact, the call for a snap election was also due to the fact that Benediktsson three-party government collapsed in an “allegedly” attempt by his father to cover up and restore the honor of a “convicted child offender”. We can remember that Benediktsson established his center-right coalition for just about ten months because of the resignation of its predecessors. Even before Benediktsson took over the place, former Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson stepped down amid public fury, when revelations of his family sheltering the country’s money off-shore were discovered.
It was revealed that Benediktsson had sold his millions of krona assets in a major Icelandic bank investments fund while the state is seizing financial control over the peak of 2008 financial crisis. Ever since the prime minister has denied allegations of any wrongdoing. However, the newly leaked documents circulating around the internet suggest otherwise.
It suggests his relationship with Glitnir bank was close enough to raise suspicions and conflict of interest. It collides with his role as an MP and being one of its most trusted clients. The administrator of the said bank state he had sought an injunction, preventing major Icelandic media outlets, Stundin and Reykjavik Media from publishing documents.
Its Left-Green Movement Rival Is now Edging According to the Voter’s Poll
Because of the numerous controversies, the minister’s conservative Independence party is facing, its main rival for the parliament, the Left-Green movement, is now racing the lead. The party’s campaign seems to resonate more with the Icelandic people since they’re fighting for equality and for greater investment in terms of public services. It also aims to reform the tax law of the country.
Recent polls have shown that half of Iceland’s voters are now more inclined to vote the popular Jakobsdóttir. In which, the voters have seen that his party represents a new breed of politicians that reflects the modern Iceland. If this happens, this center-left government will be reining the country for the second time, ever since Iceland became independent from Denmark in 1944.
This could earn them around 63-member allying seats as parts of the fragmentation of Icelandic politics, which definitely reflects the voter’s current dissatisfaction with the government because of all the cronyism and corruption controversies spreading around. The voters see this as an endemic disease in terms of political and business sector of the country.
Iceland Has Been Facing Financial Crisis During Benediktsson reign
During the 2008 financial crisis, Iceland has been facing deep recessions. Around that time, its three major banks, including the Glitnir, had failed with their liabilities, skyrocketing up to 11 times the country’s GDP. Its stock market also fell at 97%, the krona exchange rate was reduced to half. Lastly, for the first time in 25 years, Iceland became the first western European country to ask the International Monetary Fund for a bailout. Because of the government’s controversy, a theory was formed that somehow Benediktsson was responsible for the country’s downfall.
“He is part of the elite that crashed the system”, said Egill Helgason, a political commentator at the public broadcaster, RUV. The prime minister and his circle suffer from a serious lack of trust in the wake of recent scandals, he said.
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