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Iceland’s Agriculture Minister to Take Prime Minister Spot After Panama Papers

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Iceland's new prime mninster Sig­urdur Ingi Jo­hanns­son of the Progressive Partys and Bjarni Benediktsson finance minister of the Independence Party address members of the media after a meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, 6 April, 2016.Photograph by Halldor Kolbeins—AFP/Getty Images

The Icelandic government is racing to regroup in the wake of the Panama Papers release that forced Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson to resign.

Iceland’s Agriculture Minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson will take over as the country’s prime minister until general elections in the fall, according to the Wall Street Journal. The close ally of Gunnlaugsson—who was revealed to have offshore holdings by the disclosures—must now be approved by Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grímsson.

Though general elections were scheduled to be held in the spring of 2017, they have been moved up to this fall.

Gunnlaugsson is the first public official to resign after this week’s release of the Panama Papers, a trove of documents revealing how hundreds of public officials worldwide hid their wealth or avoided taxes with offshore holdings. Other public figures named in the papers include Argentinian president Mauricio Macri, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, and a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin.