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Ólafur Ragnar Re-elected as President

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Ólafur Ragnar Re-elected as President

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson has been re-elected as President of Iceland for a record fifth four-year term defeating his closest opponent by almost 20 percentage points.

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Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

Ólafur Ragnar received 52.78 percent of the vote in Saturday’s election, ruv.is reports. The final election results were announced at 7:30am on Sunday.

Þóra Arnórsdóttir came in second with 33.16 percent, followed by Ari Trausti Guðmundsson with 8.64 percent of the vote, Herdís Þorgeirsdóttir with 2.63 percent, Andrea J. Ólafsdóttir with 1.8 percent and Hannes Bjarnason with .98 percent.

Voter turnout was low at 69.2 percent and marks only the second time in Iceland’s history that turnout is below 70 percent in a presidential election, ruv.is reports. Of 236,000 eligible voters, approximately 163,000 cast their vote in Saturday’s election.

In 2004, voter turnout was just 63 percent when Baldur Ágústsson and Ástþór Magnússon ran against Ólafur Ragnar. Iceland saw the highest turnout in 1980 with 90.5 percent when Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was elected, ruv.is reports.

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson is the fifth president of the Republic of Iceland, originally inaugurated to the office in 1996.

Traditionally, the role of the President of Iceland has been seen by many as apolitical and symbolic with the president serving as cultural ambassador for Iceland.

The president is neither part of the legislative nor the executive, although he/she formally appoints governments and legislations require his/her approval, which is usually considered a formality.

However, the role of the president has been subject to different interpretations in the Constitution of Iceland and a clearer definition of the office is strived for in the draft for a new constitution Icelanders will vote on in a consultative referendum.

Click here to read icelandreview.com’s Q&A with Ólafur Ragnar and other presidential candidates.

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