Iceland’s scandal-hit PM wins snap election


REYKJAVIK: Iceland’s con­s­ervative prime minister won a snap election despite a string of scandals, final results confirmed on Sunday, but it remained unclear whether he could form a viable coalition.

Bjarni Benediktsson, 47, was accused named last year in the “Panama Papers” worldwide tax-evasion leaks. He has also been accused of wrongdoing during Iceland’s financial collapse in 2008.

Nevertheless, his Indepen­dence Party beat its rivals in Saturday’s election, according to final results published on Sunday. It won 16 seats in the 63-seat parliament. Turnout was 81 percent.

No party won a majority. It could take months before Iceland has a new government in place as thorny coalition negotiations await. Ben­e­diktsson fended off a challenge from the Left Gr­­een Movement and its potential allies, the Social Democ­ratic Alliance and the anti-establishment Pirate Party.