Bjarni Benediktsson named as Iceland Prime Minister in cabinet reshuffle

After the announcement that the current Iceland Prime Minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, is stepping down as PM to run for President, Bjarni Benediktsson has been named as the new Prime Minister in a cabinet reshuffle.

Benediktsson is currently Iceland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and head of the right-wing Independence Party. He was also the Prime Minister in a short-lived government from January to November 2017.

This move allows the current coalition to stay in power for the remainder of its second term; 17 months.

Benediktsson has been at the center of many controversies in his political career. Benediktsson stepped down as the country’s Finance Minister last year over the sale of the state’s shares in Islandsbanki, where his father was among the buyers.

In 2017, Benediktsson stepped down as Prime Minster after it was revealed that the Independence Party had concealed that Bjarni’s father, Benedikt Sveinsson, recommended that the criminal record of convicted child sex offender Hjalti Sigurjón Hauksson be erased.