President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson has just announced at a press conference at the presidential residence that he will be running for president for the sixth term in June. In his announcement, he explained that recent events in society had created uncertainty, increasing pressure on him to reconsider his decision not to seek reelection.
Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson recently resigned, and early parliamentary elections will be held this fall, instead of a year from now. Ólafur Ragnar explained that forming a new government could prove difficult and stressed that when politicians fail that task, the responsibility lies with the president to make sure the country is not without leadership.
The president’s declaration.
He said that “in this turmoil of uncertainty and protests, and following recent events, numerous people from many places in society have in recent weeks appealed to my duty, experience and responsibility and asked me to reconsider my decision [not to run].” Recently, he said, the “wave of pressure has become very strong.” He claimed he has had to weigh his freedom from the office against his duty toward the nation, and that he had stood face to face with a great number of people who appealed to his experience and trust. In light of all this, he finally decided to answer those wishes by entering the race. He said he would humbly continue to serve the nation, should he be reelected.
When asked if he felt he had become indispensable, he flatly denied that, and said he did not lack confidence in others. He emphasized that he was simply answering the call of a broad group of voters.
For background information, read our earlier article here.