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Iceland’s Prime Minister Now Says He Didn’t Resign

Prime minister backtracks from claims he quit after Panama Papers revelations

Iceland's Prime Minister Now Says He Didn't Resign

There seems to be some confusion in Iceland as prime minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson is now denying yesterdays reports claiming he had resigned over the Panama Papers scandal.

In a press release he said that his party’s vice-chairman has taken the office for an “unspecified amount of time.”

 

RT reports:

“The Prime Minister has not resigned and will continue to serve as Chairman of the Progressive Party,” reads the statement posted late on Tuesday, which, among other things, lists the achievements of the government in the sphere of economy and praises the reforms initiated by Gunnlaugsson during his term.

The PM once again insisted that he was innocent and denied all allegations that he or his wife were complicit in the tax fraud.

“The Prime Minister and his wife have provided detailed answers to the questions about the assets of PM’s wife. They have never sought to hide these assets from Icelandic tax authorities,” continues the statement made public on Twitter by Richard Milne, a correspondent with the Financial Times.

Gunnlaugsson thereby argues that “no parliamentary rules on disclosure have been broken,” so there is no compelling evidence for him to resign.

The PM’s position will be temporary held by Sigurour Ingi Johannsson, Iceland’s Minister of Agriculture and Fishing, who has been serving as deputy chairman of Gunnlaugsson’s Progressive Party.

Media reports had surfaced earlier suggesting that Gunlaugsson had already submitted his resignation and was only waiting for the approval of his coalition Independence Party and President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson.

Sigurour Ingi Johannsson was named as the first candidate in line to replace the disgraced PM.

Gunnlaugsson first tried to seek the dissolution of parliament, but his request was turned down by President Grimsson.