Guðni Ágústsson, former chairman of the Progressive Party, told Fréttablaðið today that no man is larger than his party, and that the party must be led by a man who can talk to everyone without letting private matters interrupt the government’s work. For thirty-five years, Guðni has been among the party’s most influential politicians.
Recent reports of tension between former PM Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, who has remained chairman of the party after resigning as PM following the Panama Papers scandal in April, and PM Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson have led many to believe that Sigmundur Davíð may not continue to lead the party.
Guðni stated in the interview that the Panama Papers scandal could overshadow the party’s election campaign. He is convinced that the revelations of the Panama documents, which showed Sigmundur Davíð´s connections to offshore accounts, greatly affected people’s trust toward him.
He commented, “The Progressive Party would like voters to judge it by its deeds. I sense that even though people care for Sigmundur Davíð, they fear the trouble he has faced will overshadow the whole election campaign and hurt the party’s performance in the election.”
He continued, “Sigurður Ingi took over the prime ministry under very difficult conditions, but has done an outstanding job. He reconciles parties; he conciliates parliament and calms things down; he has been humble and able to talk to anyone, so he does this as well as can be.”
In the end, it’s up to the party to select a leader, Guðni concluded.