REYKJAVIK, Iceland Icelands government has collapsed amid uproar over Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktssons father helping expunge the criminal record of a convicted child rapist.
The centrist Bright Future party dropped out of the three-party, conservative coalition, eliminating its one-seat parliamentary majority. Benediktsson called a snap election on Friday as protesters gathered near the parliament building in this citys posh downtown area.
We have lost the majority, and I dont see anything that indicates we can regain that, Benediktsson said Friday at a press conference. I am calling an election.
The party blamed Benediktsson for failing to inform the government that his father wrote a letter recommending a pardon for Hjalti Sigurjn Hauksson. Hauksson was convicted in 2004 of raping his stepdaughter almost daily for 12 years, starting when she was 5 years old. He served nearly six years in prison, but was granted restored honor last August a legal status encoded in old Icelandic law that allows criminals who receive three letters of recommendation speaking to their good character to have their records wiped clean and go on to serve in public office or...