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Iceland Wants Internet Activists To Run The Country After Panama Leak

REUTERS/Mark Blinch

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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Almost half of Icelandic people want the Pirate Party to take charge of the country after Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson stepped down Tuesday.

The Icelandic Pirate Party was founded in 2013 and currently holds three out of 63 seats in parliament. Its main points on the agenda include not joining the EU, abolishing patent laws and giving former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden Icelandic citizenship.

If a new election took place now, the Pirate Party would receive 43 percent of the vote, according to a poll released Wednesday. A new election could happen as early as next month, and the Pirate Party holds a 21-point lead over the second largest party.

Pirate Parties have emerged across Europe over the past 10 years. They want to reform, and in most cases abolish, patent and copyright laws to make information on the Internet more accessible. This includes making pirating of music and movies legal. Pirate Parties have little to no influence on politics in every country except Iceland. (RELATED: Icelandic Prime Minister Had Financial Ties With The Same Bankers He Helped Imprison)

Gunnlaugsson resigned Tuesday after the Panama Papers exposed his holdings in off shore accounts. Gunnlaugsson is one of 12 world leaders named in the Panama Papers. The leak revealed Gunnlaugsson held shares in Wintris, Inc., a company registered in the British Virgin Islands. The company invested in some of the same banks he spoke out against after the country was rocked by the 2008 financial crisis.

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