Icelandic president to lose referendum power?

johanna1Johanna Sigurdardottir, Prime Minister of Iceland and leader of the Social Democrats, has told reporters she wants the President’s right to veto new acts of parliament and send them to a public referendum to be removed.

The Icelandic President is the country’s head of state and the only person with power over parliament; but Johanna Sigurdardottir said she wants the right to call a referendum to be placed directly in the hands of the public.

Current president, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson has twice used his veto and is the only president to have ever done so, RUV reports.

Sigurdardottir said that her party is very enthusiastic about a bill due before parliament that would call together a constitutional parliament of citizens with the legal power to change Iceland’s constitution. She believes such a parliament should make re-evaluation of the president’s role a priority. Sigurdardottir is also in favour of the office of president having stricter rules on conduct and a clearer job description.

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