Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Politics

What has Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the President of Iceland, in common with Alexander Lukashenko and Robert Mugabe?

By Staff

  • Second longest serving president in Europe Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson the President of Iceland will announce in his new-year's announcement whether he will seek a sixth term. Photo/Valli

Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the President of Iceland, has announced he will wait until next year before deciding whether to run for a sixth term when the next presidential elections will be held in 2016. When Ólafur Ragnar finishes his current term he will have been president of Iceland for 20 years.

The longest serving president in Icelandic history
In an interview with on the local TV station Hringbraut, Ólafur Ragnar said that he would make a formal announcement as to whether he would seek a sixth term on his new year's address. In the interview he said that he regularly meets people who encourage him to run again, but added that he also meets people who want him to step down.

Before he decided to run for a fifth time Ólafur Ragnar had on several occasions indicated that he was not sure he would like to run again. His new year's address in 2012, was taken by many as an indication he would in fact not run. In a press release in March, however, he was throwing his hat in the ring, citing political uncertainty and the requests of countless supporters. However, in the lead up to the election he also indicated that he might not serve the full term.

The second longest serving president in Europe
Now, that this term is coming to a close, many Icelanders have been wondering whether or not he will run again. Considerable speculation has taken place on Icelandic social media as to who would succeed Ólafur Ragnar. Many had hoped comedian Jón Gnarr, the former mayor of Reykjavík would run.

Currently Ólafur Ragnar is the 17th longest serving president in the world. He is also the second-longest serving president in Europe. Only Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus has served longer than Ólafur Ragnar. Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe is one of the other 16 heads of state worldwide that has served longer than Iceland's president.

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