Icelandic Politician Says He'south the Country'south New PM

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 9:32 PM

Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson told reporters that he'd secured President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson'south formal backing after his predecessor resigned because of embarrassing links to an offshore account.

Icelandic Politician Says He'south the Country'south New PM

Iceland'south fisheries minister emerged from the president'south residence Thursday and announced he's become the island nation'south new prime minister after days of political turmoil.

Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson told reporters that he'd secured President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson'south formal backing after his predecessor resigned because of embarrassing links to an offshore account.

"This is a excellent thing" that'll authorize the center-right governing coalition to continue its policies, he said.

"This is of course an exciting opportunity, but it'south below bizarre circumstances," said Johannsson, a 53-year-old who's combined his work as a veterinarian with his political career. "It's me as prime minister, but it'south necessary to be humble. It's a large task ahead to boost the confidence in politics and politicians. "

Johannsson said he doesn't think the offshore accounts scandal brought on by a massive leak of financial documents held by a Panamanian law firm has damaged Iceland's reputation.

"We've been in horrible cases before and we got through it," he said.

But his coalition faces a stiff challenge in parliament from opposition parties that are demanding an immediate election.

The opposition introduced a no-confidence measure Monday aimed at then-Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, who's since resigned, but presently propose a vote against the all coalition government.

Gunnlaugsson has denied doing anything illegal and said he and his wife — also linked to the offshore account — paid all their taxes. He plans to stay in parliament and hold his post as party chairman.

A tiny grouping of protesters gathered exterior the president'south residence Thursday while the new prime minister and other Cabinet ministers were inside — but there was number sign of the rousing protests held in Reykjavik for the latest three days.

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