President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson will be giving a press conference at 4:15 pm today at Bessastaðir, the presidential residence. A press release from the president’s office does not mention the purpose of the conference, but there is widespread speculation in the Icelandic media that he may be going to announce his intention to run for president for the sixth term. He was first elected president in 1996 and has held the position ever since, for a record 20 years. RÚV will broadcast directly from the meeting.
A poll conducted April 4 and 5 by MMR showed that 54.5 percent of voters trust the president well. In terms of voter trust, he is second only to Left-Green Movement Leader Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who is well trusted by 59.2 percent of voters. In his New Year’s Day address to the nation, Ólafur announced he had decided not to run for reelection in June.
He held a press conference April 5, following a meeting with then PM Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, where he explained his decision to refuse to accept Sigmundur’s request to dissolve parliament, following revelations made by the so-called Panama Papers that Sigmundur had connections to a company on Tortola.
At that meeting, Ólafur was asked whether he might reconsider his decision not to run. It drew attention that instead of answering the question directly, he spoke of the need for the country to have a strong president, mbl.is reports.
The field of presidential candidates already includes 15 people from all walks of life. They are as follows:
Ari Jósepsson, YouTube artist
Andri Snær Magnason, writer
Ástþór Magnússon, businessman
Benedikt Kristján Mewes, dairy technician
Bæring Ólafsson, CEO
Elísabet Kristín Jökulsdóttir, writer
Guðmundur Franklín Jónsson, businessman
Guðrún Margrét Pálsdóttir, registered nurse
Halla Tómasdóttir, business person
Heimir Örn Hólmarsson, electric technology engineer
Hildur Þórðardóttir, healer and ethnologist
Hrannar Pétursson, former public relations person
Magnús Ingi Magnússon, restaurateur
Sturla Jónsson, truck driver
Vigfús Bjarni Albertsson, hospital minister