Iceland lawmakers to debate no-confidence motion after Panama Papers

The government of Iceland's new prime minister, Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, faces a no-confidence vote Friday, a day after taking office following fallout from the Panama Papers.

Johannsson took over Thursday as prime minister, following the resignation of premier Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson who was implicated in a data leak from a Panama-based law firm.

The massive data leak details how money was funnelled to shell companies in tax havens and calls into question the finance of numerous politicians, sports stars and celebrities.

The leaked documents from law firm Mossack Fonseca suggested Gunnlaugsson and his wife had an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands. They denied any wrongdoing.

The revelations about Gunnlaugsson triggered protests in Iceland, where thousands of people assembled outside parliament in the past week calling for immediate elections.

The opposition on Monday also filed a no-confidence motion, calling for the government and premier to resign. However, the centre-right government has a strong majority, commanding 38 of the 63 seats in the legislature.

The debate is scheduled to begin at 1300 GMT, and last several hours.

The government's term is scheduled to end in April 2017, but late Wednesday it announced elections would be moved up to the autumn.

The coalition of Johannsson's Progressive Party and the Independence Party has seen support drop since taking office in 2013, while the untested opposition Pirate Party has surged.

Last update: Fri, 08/04/2016 - 14:18
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