Hours before his resignation, mobs swarmed onto the streets in Reykjavik demanding Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson resign after his name appeared in a giant finance law firm leak known as the Panama Papers.
He has tendered his resignation. Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, the agriculture and fisheries minister, will replace him as prime minister.
Gunnlaugsson will remain leader of his Progressive Party.
— Þórhildur Laufey (@totalauf) April 4, 2016
— Gissur Simonarson CN (@GissiSim) April 4, 2016
This is an unusually polite protest sign (from Iceland) pic.twitter.com/lEIsVjuU1g
— Alex Cuadros (@alexcuadros) April 5, 2016
— The WorldPost (@TheWorldPost) April 5, 2016
— The Independent (@Independent) April 5, 2016
— Gissur Simonarson CN (@GissiSim) April 5, 2016
Not gonna take it anymore. pic.twitter.com/8KWaltn2vl
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) April 4, 2016
The papers showed Gunnlaugsson did not declare an interest in a few companies he and his wife invested in. From The Guardian:
The leaked documents from the Mossack Fonseca law firm show Gunnlaugsson and his wife, Anna Sigurlaug Pálsdóttir, bought a British Virgin Islands-based offshore company, Wintris Inc, in December 2007 to invest her share of the proceeds of the sale of her father’s business, Iceland’s only Toyota importer.
Gunnlaugsson sold his 50% stake to his wife for a symbolic $1 at the end of 2009, eight months after he was elected to parliament as an MP for the centre-right Progressive party. He failed, however, to declare an interest in the company either then or when he became prime minister in 2013.
His office has said his shareholding was an error due simply to the couple having a joint bank account and that it had “always been clear to both of them that the prime minister’s wife owned the assets”. The transfer of ownership was made as soon as this was pointed out, a spokesman said. The prime minister denies he was required to declare an interest.
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) April 4, 2016
Picture of last night in Iceland. Today the PM has resigned. Don’t let anyone tell you protest never changes things. pic.twitter.com/Gds0wwGiNs
— Liam O’Hare (@Liam_O_Hare) April 5, 2016
— Anonymous (@YourAnonGlobal) April 4, 2016
— Seth Sharp (@sharpseth) April 4, 2016
“People just feel humilated,” said Birgitta Jónsdóttir of the Pirate Party. “After what happened to this country in 2008 we needed honesty, transparency and integrity from our leaders. None of these things have been evident.”