Article courtesy of Huffington Post, written by Nick Robins-Early.
Iceland’s once-fringe, radical Pirate Party has surged since the Panama Papers leak to become the nation’s most popular party.
More than 43 percent of respondents in a media poll released last week said they would vote for the Pirates, the most for any party. That’s a significant gain from last month, before the Panama Papers implicated the prime minister and members of his cabinet in offshore accounts, when a poll put the party at almost 24 percent of the vote.
The Pirates’ surge follows the ruling coalition government’s offshore accounts scandal, which last week forced Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson to step down. This newfound status as potential political front-runner is a strange development for the young and unconventional party.
“We don’t really fully understand why people’s trust is coming to us and not someone else in the minority,” Birgitta Jonsdottir, leader of the Pirate Party, told The WorldPost. “We’re pleasantly surprised.”
Jonsdottir, who describes herself as a “poetician,” is one of the party’s three members of parliament. She is also a former member of WikiLeaks, and was advised by Icelandic government officials in 2011 not to travel to the U.S. in case American authorities try to prosecute her for actions while in the group.