From Iceland — Prime Minister Could Have Secret Weapon On Haarde Trial

Prime Minister Could Have Secret Weapon On Haarde Trial

Published January 24, 2012

While a conservative proposal to end the trial of former prime minister Geir H. Haarde sits in committee, Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir does have one power that could compel the trial to continue, a constitutional scholar says.
As reported, Geir is currently on trial for negligence and mismanagement contributing to the 2008 financial collapse of the country. Independence Party chairman Bjarni Benediktsson submitted a resolution last year calling for the trial to be ended. Numerous members of the ruling coalition said they would support the measure, giving the trial a more or less even shot at continuing or ending. A recent counter-proposal to reject the conservative proposal lost the parliamentary majority, 31 votes to 29.
However, Bjarni’s proposal will have to go to committee, constitutional expert G. Péturs Matthíasson points out on his blog. During this time, it is possible for the resolution to be tweaked, debated about and advised on for weeks before hitting the floor of parliament for a vote.
Should there be no majority to reject Bjarni’s proposal before going to committee, he believes the prime minister should end the parliamentary season. During this time, the proposal will be locked in committee, unable to be voted upon, while as the weeks drag on – during both the time out and in committee – the trial of Geir will continue, and reach a verdict.

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