First casualty of Panama tax evasion case: Iceland PM Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson resigns

Reykjavik: Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson on Tuesday resigned — the first major casualty of the Panama Papers leaks which have shed an embarrassing spotlight on the world of offshore finance, BBC reported.

The leaks, from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca, showed that Gunnlaugsson owned an offshore company, Wintris, with his wife. He was accused of concealing millions of dollars worth of family assets.

"The prime minister told (his party's) parliamentary group meeting that he would step down as prime minister and I will take over," the Progressive party's deputy leader and Agriculture Minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson told a live broadcast.

Sigmundur-David-Gunnlaugsson-AFP

Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson. AFP

A big protest was held in front of parliament in Iceland on Monday. Dozens of high-profile global figures were named in the huge Mossack Fonseca leak.

Gunnlaugsson had earlier called on President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson to dissolve parliament, but that was refused.

Grimsson said he wanted to speak to political parties first.

"I do not think it is normal that the prime minister alone ... should be given the authority to dissolve the parliament without the majority of the parliament being satisfied with that decision," the President told reporters.

Some observers describe his rejection of the prime minister's request as highly unusual.


Updated Date: Apr 05, 2016 21:49 PM

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