Prime Minister's Silence Fuels Speculation of Presidential Bid Skip to content

Prime Minister’s Silence Fuels Speculation of Presidential Bid

By Ragnar Tómas

Photo: Golli. Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Bjarni Benediktsson and Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson sign a coalition agreement, November 2017.

The parliamentary leader of the Independence Party has convened a meeting to discuss the implications of a possible bid by the Prime Minister for President on the coalition government. The list of candidates gathering endorsements for the presidential bid currently numbers 63.

PM’s candidacy would impact coalition

Hildur Sverrisdóttir, the parliamentary leader of the Independence Party, will convene a meeting of the party’s parliamentary group today due to a possible presidential bid by Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir. In an interview with yesterday, Hildur stated that she believed it was more likely than not that Katrín would run for president.

“Yes, I can confirm that we will hold a parliamentary group meeting … even though Parliament is not in session. I feel it’s right to convene a meeting in light of this situation. Although nothing is confirmed yet, I think it’s natural for us to discuss among ourselves what a possible candidacy of the Prime Minister could entail,” Hildur observed.

When asked what impact Katrín’s candidacy would have on the coalition government, Hildur responded thusly: “It’s clear that it would have some impact on our cooperation, although Katrín has yet to confirm her candidacy.”

Like Eiríkur Bergmann, professor of political science at the University of Iceland, Hildur believes that there is a good chance that Katrín will announce her candidacy in the coming days: “Based on the time that has passed, I would personally think it’s more likely than not. But I have no more information on this than anyone else following this development at this point,” Hildur stated.

Eiríkur made a similar observation in a recent conversation with RÚV: “Since the Prime Minister is letting this discussion continue without denying it, we can conclude that she has a significant interest in running and that the chances are now greater rather than lesser that she will make a bid. Otherwise, she would have simply refuted it by now.”

More candidates announce their bids

As of today, 63 individuals are currently gathering endorsements for presidential bids. As noted on IR this morning, former mayor of Reykjavík and comedian Jón Gnarr announced that he would be running for president in a social media post yesterday. Two new candidates have since tossed their hats into the ring: actress Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir and Guðmundur Felix Grétarsson.

Read More: The Right to Bear Arms (On Guðmundur Felix’s Arm Transplant Surgery)

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