Icelanders want former ministers to face trial

A new Gallup poll in Iceland suggests that a majority of people want to try former government ministers for alleged misconduct connected to the bank collapse. The poll also reveals that more low earners are in favour of the trials than high earners.

Gallup asked 1,200 people whether or not the special Landsdomur high court should be convened to try former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde, former Minister for Foreign Affairs Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir, former Minister of Finance Arni M. Mathiessen and former Minister of Trade Bjorgvin G. Sigurdsson. The poll was conducted online between 16th and 23rd September and 65 percent of people invited to take part responded. The poll also asked people their likely future voting preference, RUV reports.

Among Independence Party voters, 30 percent want to indict Haarde, 26 percent Mathiessen, 33 percent Gisladottir and 31 percent want to indict Sigurdsson.

The numbers are notably different among Left Green movement voters: 84 percent want to indict Arni M. Mathiessen, 82 percent say that Haarde should face trial, 76 percent Gisladottir and 61 percent want to try Sigurdsson.

The poll reveals that the young are more in favour of the Landsdomur court than the old, and the lower-paid are more enthusiastic than the highly paid.

In the end it is parliament that will decide the fate of the four former ministers and the debate is highly party political, as well as throwing up divisions within parties. At this stage, the three most likely outcomes appear to be that all four will face trial for their alleged failings, all will be spared the ordeal, or that Bjorgvin G. Sigurdsson will be spared and the other three will go before the court.

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