Iceland's president has asked the center-right Independence Party to form a government after it won the biggest share of votes in the country's election.

President Gudni Th. Johannessson said Wednesday that giving a mandate to Independence Party chairman Bjarni Benediktsson was the "most viable option" for getting a stable government for the Atlantic island nation.

The Independence Party — half of a coalition that has governed since 2013 — won 21 of 63 parliament seats in Saturday's election, and will need coalition partners to govern. It could seek support from the conservative Progressive Party and the centrist Regeneration party.

The election saw voters reject the Progressive Party — tainted by Panama Papers revelations about accounts in offshore tax havens — and boost the votes for the Left-Green Movement and the anti-authoritarian Pirate Party.