From Iceland — Sigmundur Davíð Announces Return To Politics

Sigmundur Davíð Announces Return To Politics

Published July 25, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

After being virtually invisible for most of the summer, the former prime minister has announced his return to the fray.

Eyjan reports that Sigmundur sent a letter to members of the Progressive Party, of which he is still the chairperson, announcing that he will once again be taking a crack at politics, despite having resigned in disgrace last spring when the Panama Papers story broke.

In the letter, Sigmundur thanks his fellow Progressives for their continued support, saying that he has met with and spoken to voters all over the country about the upcoming elections, which are tentatively scheduled to be held this autumn.

“Soon, I will begin my full participation in the political struggle,” he wrote in part. “This will incite a reaction. Don’t let this get you down. A reaction, even an extreme reaction, against me and us is a sign that our opponents see us as a threat. Although Progressives won’t let this get them down, it is important to have the facts clear. In the coming days, party members will receive information on all the points that are likely to come up.”

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 outgoing 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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