From Iceland — Former PM to Be Charged with Negligence

Former PM to Be Charged with Negligence

Published September 28, 2010

Parliament has just voted moments ago on the four individual former ministers that a parliamentary committee recommended face charges of negligence and appear in national court. All barely escaped charges, except former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde.
As reported, a parliamentary committee recommended that Geir, along with former Minister of Finance Árni M. Mathiesen, former Minister of Business Björgvin G. Sigurðsson, and former foreign minister Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir face charges of negligence and mismanagement for their part in the economic crash of fall 2008. However, there were heated differences of opinion between the Social Democrats and the Leftist-Greens, namely due to Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir expressing doubts that charging the ministers would accomplish anything.
Today parliament voted on the parliamentary committee report. As a whole, all 63 members of parliament approved the report. As for the original charges, parliament voted against charging Ingibjörg, 34 votes to 29; against charging Árni, 32 votes to 31; and against charging Björgvin, 35 votes to 27.
However, former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde will face charges of negligence and mismanagement, the measure passing 33 votes to 30.
The vote is an historic one, and marks the first time in Icelandic history that a prime minister has ever been charged with negligence. This will also mark the first time the national court will be called together since its inception in the early 20th century.
To see how the voting broke down by party lines, click here. It’s in Icelandic, but should be easy to understand: “Þingmaður” indicates the MPs who voted on the measure, and “Flokkur” indicates what party they belong to. “Framsfl.” means Progressive Party, “Hreyf.” means The Movement, “Samf.” means the Social Democrats, “Sjálfstfl.” means the Independence Party, and “Vinstri-gr.” means the Leftist-Greens. And of course “já” and “nei” means yes and no, respectively. (Thanks to Ðmfj for the link)

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