Mayor to Leave City Politics Skip to content

Mayor to Leave City Politics

By Steindor Gretar Jonsson

Dagur B. Eggertsson Reykjavík mayor
Photo: Golli. Dagur B. Eggertsson.

Dagur B. Eggertsson, Reykjavík mayor for the past 10 years, will not run in the next municipal elections. He announced this in an interview with Heimildin Friday.

Dagur is the longest-tenured city councillor in Reykjavík. He entered city council in 2002 as an independent member for Reykjavíkurlistinn, the centre-left alliance that ended the conservative Independence Party’s dominance in city politics. He later joined the Social Democratic Alliance and became vice-chairman of the party during Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir’s term as prime minister from 2009 to 2013.

Dagur will step down as mayor on January 16 as per the coalition agreement of the majority in city council. Progressive Party Leader Einar Þorsteinsson will take over as mayor until the next election in 2026. The Pirate Party and the Liberal Reform Party round out the coalition. Dagur will become chair of the City Executive Council for the rest of the term and remain as city councillor.

May run for parliament

In the interview with Heimildin, Dagur ruled out a run for president of Iceland in the upcoming election this summer. He did not, however, rule out running for Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament. The Social Democratic Alliance has been polling strong in opposition under the leadership of Kristrún Frostadóttir, reaching up to 30 percent in polls. Were this to come to pass in next year’s elections, the party could triple the number of its members of parliament.

Dagur has been a controversial mayor, leading the city through a period of growth and change. In the interview, he said he regrets overpromising on daycare issues. The city has faced criticism for lack of kindergarten spaces as it extends eligibility down to children 12 months of age. “I feel good about what I’m leaving behind,” Dagur said. “History will record that Reykjavík has been improving on all sides. Financially as well.”

Personal setbacks

Before entering politics, Dagur worked as a medical doctor. In 2017 he was diagnosed with a type of arthritis that forced him to use a cane while walking and threatened his ability to work. In 2021, bullet holes were discovered in his family’s car and the suspect was never charged. “Fortunately, most people agree that we as a society want to be just that, a society, not a country or a city where mayors, ministers or officials need to travel with a police escort or be constantly under protection,” Dagur said.

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