After months of discussion in the media as to whether President Grímsson intended to resign or not, a debate born out of his New Year's Day speech, the president has finally set the matter straight. However, as reported by Iceland Review recently, he will only serve for as long as he is needed, rather than the entire four-year term.President Grímsson. Photy by Iceland Photo Agency.
With 30,000 signature, his followers eagerly anticipate his victory once more but voices calling for a change of scenery in the presidential office are on the lookout for a worthy candidate to run against the three all-male candidates who have already announced they will be running.
Reporters Þóra Arnórsdóttir and Elín Hirst have been mentioned as well as pop singer and gay icon Páll Óskar.
A Facebook group, Betri valkostur, has been established where both reporters have been mentioned as primary candidates to run against Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson. One of those opposing Grímsson’s fifth presidential run is country director for ICEIDA, the Icelandic International Development Agency, Stefán Jón Hafsteinn.
“Due to the necessary changes and revision of the presidential office, President Grímsson must leave office. Following the events of recent years, the reconstruction of Iceland requires us to re-think the nature of the presidential office,” he told Pressan. “President Grímsson is a good man but his time in Bessastaðir, the presidential headquarters, has come to end,” he concluded. Stefán Jón Hafsteinn is still deciding whether to run himself.
“I won’t make a decision in the next few days whether to run or not. Before I do so, I’d like to see the discussions taking place in society reach a higher level, and that we define as a nation, the nature of the presidential office. We have to have a clear idea of what duties a president is to fulfill and what we expect from our president.”
Furthermore, he opposes the conditions President Grímsson has given the nation as an alternative. “To expect to walk out of office once the path has been cleared of the ‘imminent dangers lying ahead in a year or two, is simply unacceptable.”
At the moment, Þóra Arnórsdóttir is in the lead as the most popular presidential candidate, according to Pressan. She has received phonecalls, emails and messages, even hand-written letters, encouraging her to run.
“It is undeniably an honor to feel the positive encouragement, I won’t deny that,” Þóra’s husband, Svavar Halldórsson, told Pressan. “Nothing has been decided as of yet, but I am incredibly proud of her,” he concluded.
Þóra Arnórsdóttir is also the youngest to be encouraged to run, at only 37 years of age. Mbl.is reported earlier this year that Þóra is expecting a child in May.
Elín Hirst, a seasoned reporter, has expressed an interest in running for office but is yet to give a definitive answer. She did however tell mbl.is that she felt the current president's 16 years in office is too long.
The presidential election will take place in June and so far no woman has announced her candidacy. According to an ongoing poll on DV, President Grímsson is still in the lead with 772 votes, but former Minister of Justice Ragna Árnadóttir and actress Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir take the second and third place with 501 and 301 votes.
Click here to see the 25 most popular individuals being urged to run.