Sigmundur Davíð Will Continue In Politics - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Sigmundur Davíð Will Continue In Politics

Published May 22, 2016

Photos by
Art Bicnick

Former Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson has come forward again, after being on vacation for the past month in the wake of the Panama Papers.

Kjarninn reports that Sigmundur was a guest on the show Sprengisandur on radio station Bylgjan this morning. There, he confirmed that he will continue his political career in Iceland. He will try to stay on as the Progressive Party chairperson, and will run for parliament again this autumn. As such, he will be touring the country to talk to voters and drum up support.

He added that despite government promises to hold early elections this autumn, he is doubtful that will happen, saying that Progressives he has spoken with believe it would be “inconvenient” to hold elections sooner than originally scheduled.

When asked about his resignation as Prime Minister last month, Sigmundur said he stepped down because otherwise, the government would be subjected to considerable pusback. In order to ensure that the government would be able to accomplish all it has set out to do, he said, he made the decision to resign.

As reported, Sigmundur’s involvement in offshore tax havens, as brought to light in the Panama Papers leak, put him under intense criticism, especially when footage was aired of him walking out of an interview when asked about his connections to tax havens.

Within days, Sigmundur had resigned, but not before trying to convince President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson to dissolve parliament, which he declined to do. Sigmundur then took an indefinite leave of absence from his parliamentary seat, but still remains chairperson of the Progressive Party.

Sigmundur was far from the only Icelandic politician found in the Panama Papers. In the wake of ongoing revelations, the ruling coalition has been struggling to maintain its relevance, even after promising early elections this fall.

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