Iceland coalition calls early elections in wake of Panama Papers

In a concession to

opposition parties and the protesters

who hounded

Prime Minister Sigmunder David Gunnlaugsson

out of office, Iceland’s government announced that it would hold elections in autumn.

The Progressive Party

and the Independence Party announced their decision hours after handing the briefly vacant premier post to Fisheries and Agriculture Minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannssonn, a 53-year-old Progressive.

“We have agreed that we will continue working together,” Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson said late Wednesday.

Iceland had originally scheduled its next legislative elections for April 2017. The Pirate Party has led in recent polls, with 43 percent support, its new high, reached on Wednesday. The party entered the legislature with 5 percent support in 2013.

‘Cling onto power’

The announcement followed some initial confusion. “The prime minister has not resigned and will continue to serve as chairman of the Progressive Party,” a spokesperson wrote in

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