Prime Minister to Announce Decision on Presidential Bid Today Skip to content

Prime Minister to Announce Decision on Presidential Bid Today

By Ragnar Tómas

Katrín Jakobsdóttir
Photo: Golli.

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir is expected to announce her decision on a potential presidential bid today, amid widespread speculation and a government meeting held early this morning. A political scientist has referred to the situation as “unprecedented.”

Expected to announce her decision today

A government meeting began at 8:30 AM in the Umbra building at Skuggasund in downtown Reykjavík, Mbl.is reports. There is much speculation about a possible presidential run by Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, and she is expected to announce her decision today.

As noted by Mbl.is, many believe that Katrín will ask to be relieved of her duties for herself and her ministry if she decides to run. The coalition parties will then attempt to form a new government under another leader.

Parliament reconvenes on Monday after the Easter break, and by then, it is expected to be clear whether Katrín will proceed with her candidacy.

An unprecedented situation

“It is clear that this has never happened before in Icelandic politics,” professor of political science Ólafur Þ. Harðarson told RÚV earlier this week. Ólafur believes that a presidential bid by the sitting Prime Minister could cause all sorts of problems in the coalition government.

“Especially in a coalition partnership that has been as fragile as the current one has been for the last two or three years,” Ólafur noted, adding that he believes Katrín would not want to run for President of Iceland unless she has ensured that a peaceful solution is reached for the continuation of the government’s life. Instability in the government is simply not a good starting point for her possible candidacy.

“I believe she will do everything to avoid that, and from what I hear from the leaders of the Independence Party and the Progressive Party, they are very keen on resolving this matter peacefully,” Ólafur continued, highlighting that none of the governing parties wants to go to elections early. Additionally, it would signal disintegration if presidential and parliamentary elections were held simultaneously.

Sixty-eight individuals are currently gathering endorsements for presidential bids. As noted on IR, former mayor of Reykjavík and comedian Jón Gnarr announced that he would be running for president in a social media post earlier this week. Two new candidates have also tossed their hats into the ring: actress Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir and Guðmundur Felix Grétarsson. Political scientist Baldur Þórhallsson has been polling strongly.

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