Relations between president and government discussed Skip to content

Relations between president and government discussed

The President of Iceland’s Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson’s controversial move to accept a seat in the India Council for Sustainable Development was discussed at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee at parliament yesterday.

The president did not notify the Foreign Ministry of his decision to accept the seat in the council as he was obligated to do, according to the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Halldór Blöndal. Fréttabladid reports.

Blöndal said in parliament yesterday that as the Icelandic President does not have any responsibility for governmental affairs, he is obligated to consult with the government before taking such actions in the name of his office.

As Grímsson did not consult with the government before accepting the seat in the India Development Council it is necessary to review the relations between the presidential office and the government, Blöndal concluded.

The presidential office has issued a statement saying the president did not accept the seat in the council in the name of his office, but as the private citizen Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson.

To that Blöndal responded: “This is just a distortion [of the truth]. Can the prime minister be the prime minister until three o’clock in the afternoon? No,” he said, as Fréttabladid reports.

After yesterday’s meeting it was decided that the representatives of the Foreign Ministry and of the presidential office would be called for the committee to give further information on the matter.

After last week’s reports that Grímsson had accepted the seat in the India Development Council, the Foreign Ministry of Iceland asked for an explanation on why it had not been notified of the president’s decision. In the following, the presidential office issued the aforementioned statement.

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