Snæfellsjökull Glacier Enters Presidential Race Skip to content

Snæfellsjökull Glacier Enters Presidential Race

By Erik Pomrenke

snæfellsjökull glacier iceland

Iceland’s presidential race has a cool new candidate – the glacier Snæfellsjökull. Launched officially on March 15, the campaign emphasises ecology in order to “move towards environmental consciousness and global unity.”

An emblem of Iceland

In a recent press release, the campaign states: “Amidst the conventional political landscape, we believe it’s time to challenge the status quo and elect a candidate that symbolizes endurance, resilience, and global interconnectedness. Snæfellsjökull is already an emblem of Iceland and a custodian of geo-cultural wisdom, representing the very essence of stability and sustainability. With a towering presence and serene demeanor, Snæfellsjökull embodies a balance of steadfastness and adaptability, qualities much needed in today’s rapidly changing world.”

The campaign also stresses the importance of environmental stewardship. By nominating a non-human being to the presidency of Iceland, the campaign hopes to bring greater awareness to sustainability and eco-justice.

Even non-human beings need a kennitala

A kennitala, or civil registration number, is given to all citizens and legal residents of Iceland. In addition to being a minimum 35 years of age (which the glacier well exceeds) and mustering a minimum number of petition endorsements, candidates for the presidency of Iceland are also required to be citizens, and therefore, to have a kennitala.

In a statement on social media, campaign organiser and presidential proxy Angela Marie Snæfellsjökuls Rawlings, stated:

“In early 2024, thirty humans commenced work on a campaign to nominate Snæfellsjökull for the presidency—Snæfellsjökul fyrir forseta. We puzzled through how to work within a digitised administrative system and legislative framework that was not yet purpose-built to support a non-human entity to have a kennitala. Snæfellsjökull fulfilled the requisite age limit (at least 35 years old) and citizenship (Icelandic); the only thing remaining to establish our candidacy and collect enough nomination signatures to get the glacier on the ballot was a kennitala. Could we work with a pre-existing organisation that has a kennitala? Should we form a non-profit to acquire a kennitala for Snæfellsjökull? No, it should be a kennitala of an individual as organisations cannot run for president. And so legal eagles in the campaign team asked if I, as campaign manager, would offer my kennitala as proxy—understanding that I personally do not want to be president. They recommended it would be better if the candidate’s name included Snæfellsjökull so it’s clearly linked to the kennitala in the nomination form.”

Facing up the competition

The presidential race is already a crowded field, and the beloved glacier will face stiff competition, including former Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr, popular professor of political science Baldur Þórhallsson, and possibly even current Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir.

The Snæfellsjökull campaign has also stressed the importance of inclusivity and diversity, and campaign literature is available in Icelandic, English, Polish, and Spanish.

Read more: How do I become the president of Iceland?


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