People protest in front of the Progressive Party headquarters building in Reykjavik, Iceland, Tuesday April 5, 2016. (AP Photo/David Keyton)
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Iceland's government sought to avoid early elections on Wednesday by picking a replacement for the prime minister who stepped aside to become the first global politician brought down the "Panama Papers" leaks.Picking a new prime minister could allow the ruling coalition to remain in power, but the opposition is trying to force a new election with a vote of no confidence in the government, which could lead to a radical political shift.The Panama documents revealed that Gunnlaugsson's wife owned a previously undisclosed firm with what the government says is $4.1 million in claims on the island's collapsed banks.The ruling Progressive Party's deputy leader, Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, said on Tuesday his party had proposed to its coalition partner, the Independence Party, that he become the new prime minister.While the government has a parliamentary majority, it is not clear whether all its members would now support it.Nevertheless, some experts predicted the government would hang on.Gunnlaugsson and his wife bought a company called Wintris Inc from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca in late 2007 through the Luxembourg branch of Landsbanki, one of the three Icelandic banks that collapsed in 2008 .
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