Iceland's government collapses after PM's father vouches for paedophile

Eiríkur Bergmann Einarsson professor of politics at the University

Together the three parties held the slimmest of majorities - 32 of the 63 seats in parliament following the October 29 elections.

Benediktsson said he would seek to continue as party leader, and that he believes the Independents can "gain strength" in an election.

"There is nothing else to do in Iceland but to let the voters (decide)", he added.

This was following the news that the Prime Minister's Independence party attempted to hide the letter written by his father to have his friend convicted of child sexual offences have his criminal record cleared and "honour restored".

But Icelanders have been horrified by the secret backing for Hjalti Sigurjón Hauksson - convicted in 2004 of raping his stepdaughter nearly every day for 12 years from when she was five.

Bjarni Benediktsson's government has collapsed after his coalition partners quit citing a letter written by his father.

Benediktsson, who was implicated in the Panama Papers scandal that revealed offshore tax havens, had delayed the release of a report on tax evasion during the legislative campaign.

It said in a Facebook post that there was "a serious breach of trust" behind its departure.

The outgoing government would be the shortest-living in Iceland's history.

The prime minister's father, Benedikt Sveinsson, confirmed on Friday that he had signed a letter supporting his friend's application to have his "honour restored", a procedure that effectively erases a criminal record.

He said he hoped the fresh elections could be held in November.

Icelandic media speculated the minority government could stay if it gains the support of another party, or President Gudni Johannesson could ask another party to form a coalition, or new elections could be held.

People arrive to vote in Reykjavik, Iceland, in last year's election. She was later ordered to do so by a parliamentary committee.

Sveinsson said he had not discussed the letter with anyone. Starting July, three cases of such recommendation letters granted to pedophiles have been disclosed, which have immediately triggered condemnation among the Icelandic society and calls for abolition of such practice.

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