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New Interior Minister Appointed Next Week

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New Interior Minister Appointed Next Week

Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir

Outgoing Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir. Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

Chair of the Independence Party Bjarni Benediktsson said at a parliamentary party meeting yesterday that he hoped that a new minister of the interior would be appointed next week. Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir announced her resignation on Friday.

Bjarni said that he would discuss the issue with the party’s MPs as well as Prime Minister Sigmundur Davið Gunnlaugsson.

Hanna Birna is legally still minister of the interior and bears responsibility for the ministry despite having stepped down in the face of mounting pressure to resign ever since confidential information was leaked from her ministry one year ago. Hanna Birna has stated that the decision to resign was personal, not political.

Hanna Birna said in a statement that she is planning to take a break from politics and return to parliament in January. RÚV reported yesterday that she has gone abroad on vacation. Minister of Industry and Commerce Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir is filling in for her.

Tryggvi Gunnarsson, parliamentary ombudsman, told ruv.is that it was hoped that the investigation into correspondence between Hanna Birna and now former Chief of Reykjavík Police Stefán Eiríksson would be completed as soon as possible.

Stefán has stated that Hanna Birna had repeatedly attempted to interfere with the police’s investigation of the leak, threatening to have the police’s and state prosecutor’s work methods in the affair investigated. Hanna Birna has denied having been in violation of regulations.

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