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Panama Papers: Iceland names Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson as next PM

Published 06/04/2016

Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson is the first major political figure to step down amid the Panama Papers furore (AP)
Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson is the first major political figure to step down amid the Panama Papers furore (AP)

Iceland's right-wing coalition government has named Agriculture Minister Sigurdur Ingi Johanssonn as new prime minister, a day after his predecessor was forced to step down following the Panama Papers scandal.

The Progressive Party and the Independence Party agreed during talks on Wednesday to hand the prime minister post to 53-year-old Mr Johannssonn, replacing Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson,  Progressive Party MP Hoskuldur Thorhallsson told reporters.


The appointment comes after Mr Gunnlaugsson said he has not resigned but simply stepped aside for a period of time after the leak of the “Panama Papers”, according to a press release from his office.

The so-called “Panama Papers” from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, reportedly show that Mr Gunnlaugsson and his wife Anna Sigurlaug Palsdottir had an offshore firm in the British Virgin Islands to allegedly shield investments worth millions, sparking wide-spread protests in the country.

The shell company, Wintris, was set up in 2007, according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) which published the papers. But it was not declared when Mr Gunnlaugsson entered parliament two years later.

The statement from Mr Gunnlaugsson had suggested that the vice-chairman of the Progressive Party should take over the office of Prime Minister for “an unspecified amount of time”.

“The Prime Minister has not resigned and will continue to serve as Chairman of the Progressive Party,” it said.

Independent

Panama Papers: latest news on offshore tax avoidance scandal  

People gather to demonstrate against Iceland's prime minister, in Reykjavik on Monday April 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gunnarsson)
People gather to demonstrate against Iceland's prime minister, in Reykjavik on Monday April 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gunnarsson)
People gather to demonstrate against Iceland's prime minister, in Reykjavik on Monday April 4, 2016. Iceland's prime minister insisted Monday he would not resign after documents leaked in a media investigation allegedly link him to an offshore company that could represent a serious conflict of interest, according to information leaked from a Panamanian law firm at the center of an international tax evasion scheme. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gunnarsson)
People gather to demonstrate against Iceland's prime minister, in Reykjavik on Monday April 4, 2016. Iceland's prime minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson insisted Monday he would not resign after documents leaked in a media investigation allegedly link him to an offshore company that could represent a serious conflict of interest, according to information leaked from a Panamanian law firm at the center of an international tax evasion scheme. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gunnarsson)
People protest against Icelands Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson outside parliament in Reykjavik, Iceland on April 4, 2016. Iceland's prime minister faced calls to resign after leaked "Panama Papers" tax documents showed he and his wife used an offshore firm to allegedly hide million-dollar investments. / AFP PHOTO / HALLDOR KOLBEINSHALLDOR KOLBEINS/AFP/Getty Images
People protest against Icelands Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson outside parliament in Reykjavik, Iceland on April 4, 2016. Iceland's prime minister faced calls to resign after leaked "Panama Papers" tax documents showed he and his wife used an offshore firm to allegedly hide million-dollar investments. / AFP PHOTO / HALLDOR KOLBEINSHALLDOR KOLBEINS/AFP/Getty Images
Police stand by as protest against Icelands Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson outside parliament in Reykjavik, Iceland on April 4, 2016. Iceland's prime minister faced calls to resign after leaked "Panama Papers" tax documents showed he and his wife used an offshore firm to allegedly hide million-dollar investments. / AFP PHOTO / HALLDOR KOLBEINSHALLDOR KOLBEINS/AFP/Getty Images
REYKJAVIK, ICELAND - APRIL 5: A picture mimicking Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson is seen near the Icelandic Parliament building in downtown Reykjavik as the Prime Minister faces a vote of no confidence following the Panama Papers leak on April 5, 2016 in Reykjavik, Iceland. President îlafur Ragnar Grmsson is to meet with the leaders of all the governmental parties of Iceland today after news broke on Sunday that Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson hid assets in an offshore shell-company whose existence was revealed in the Panama Papers leak. Numerous leaders around the world as well as wealthy individuals have been caught-up in the developing scandal. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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