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Iceland's government brought down by sex abuse letter

PM calls snap election after government collapses

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Iceland's government brought down by sex abuse letter

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Iceland’s government, only formed in January, has been thrown into disarray after one of the three ruling coalition parties quit, leading the prime minister to call a snap election.

It follows the alleged cover-up by PM Bjarni Benediktsson of a scandal involving his father.

Óttarr Proppé’s Bright Future party announced it was terminating cooperation with the government over what it called a “serious breach of trust.”

It’s claimed Benediktsson’s father – wrote a letter to help clear the criminal record of man convicted of child sexual offences.

The letter recommended that his friend Hjalti Sigurjón Hauksson – should have his honour restored despite serving five years for raping a young girl.

The justice minister, Sigridur Andersen, of the Independence party, told Benediktsson about the letter in July but the government did not publicly disclose its existence until forced to do so by a parliamentary committee this week.

The development means the country faces a second election in less than a year .. and makes Bjarni Benediktsson’s future very uncertain.