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Iceland Holds Early Elections

  • VOA News

People demonstrate against Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson in Reykjavik, Iceland on April 4, 2016 after a leak of documents by so-called Panama Papers stoked anger over his wife owning a tax haven-based company with large claims on the country's collapsed banks.

People demonstrate against Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson in Reykjavik, Iceland on April 4, 2016 after a leak of documents by so-called Panama Papers stoked anger over his wife owning a tax haven-based company with large claims on the country's collapsed banks.

Voters in Iceland are going to the polls Saturday for parliamentary elections.

Analysts say the anti-establishment Pirates Party will likely form a new center-left coalition.

The incumbent government is expected to receive a drubbing, following the 2008 financial crisis and this year's international tax scandal revealed in the Panama Papers. Large anti-government protests after the release of the Panama Papers forced Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson to resign. Several politicians were named in the tax fraud case.

Although the current government of the conservative Independence Party and the centrist Progressive Party survived the scandal, it nevertheless promised an early vote in October instead of next April.

The country's young people seem attracted to the Pirates, which campaigns for public transparency, institutional reform, individual freedoms and the fight against corruption.

Voting results are expected shortly after the polls close, but no party is expected to win a majority. The ruling government will be determined after coalition negotiations.

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