Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the current President of Iceland, has declared that he will stand for a record fifth term in office in June’s election.
Ólafur’s decision was sent in a press release on Sunday and not declared at a press conference. The President’s press conference last Monday, when he declared his intention to think about his options and make up his mind by early this week, drew criticism in some quarters for being over-dramatic.
The statement says that he has changed his mind on the decision not to stand, which he announced in his televised New Year’s address. He did so after taking stock of the support and encouragement he has been shown and because there is growing uncertainty about how Iceland will be governed and the definition of the role of President in the constitution, there is upheaval in national affairs and the party political system, as well as attacks on Icelandic sovereignty.
“In light of all of this and following discussions with my wife and family I have decided to honour these requests and submit my candidacy to remain in the office of President of Iceland, if that is the will of the nation’s voters.”
The President’s statement also makes an unusual plea for understanding from the electorate if he decides to call an early election once stability has returned to the country (in the event that he is re-elected in June).