From Iceland — Minister Charged With Breaking Parliamentary Code Of Conduct

Minister Charged With Breaking Parliamentary Code Of Conduct

Published April 11, 2022

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Infrastructure Minister Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson has had charges filed against him for violation of the Code of Conduct for Members Of Parliament, RÚV reports.

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This was confirmed by Birgir Ármannsson, the Parliamentary Speaker and the chair of the Speaker’s Committee, and this committee will likely go over the matter at their next meeting.

It has not been reported who filed these charges, but they concern racist remarks the Minister made on March 31st at a conference of the Icelandic Farmers’ Association (BÍ), wherein he referred to BÍ director Vigdís Häsler, a woman of colour, as “this black one” that he did not want his picture taken with.

While initially his assistant, Ingveldur Sæmundsdóttir, denied the Minister made this remark, he later confirmed this was the case. He then met with Vigdís, on April 8th, and apologised to her personally.

It is unclear what consequences Sigurður Ingi may face if the committee finds that he broke the Code of Conduct. The code states that violations of the law can be referred to the courts. This same committee also presided over the so-called Klausturgate scandal, which found two MPs guilty of having broken the code, Bergþór Ólason and Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson. Both remained members of Parliament following the committee’s ruling.

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