More than 15,000 people have signed a petition where President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson is urged to remain in office for another term; in his address to the nation on New Year’s Day, Ólafur Ragnar indicated that he would step down after the current term.
President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
The organizers of the petition are hoping that up to 40,000 signatures will be obtained in total, mbl.is reports.
Among those declaring their support for Ólafur Ragnar serving a fifth term in office are two former ministers, Guðni Ágústsson and Ragnar Arnalds, and Ásgerður Flosadóttir, managing director of the charity Fjölskylduhjálp Íslands.
However, the petition has been criticized as it seems people can sign it using false names and so doubt has arisen as to whether the number of supporters is correct, mbl.is adds.
Historian Guðni Th. Jóhannesson told RÚV that Ólafur Ragnar may feel compelled to serve another term if the number of supporters who sign the petition continues to increase.
However, he may also feel more comfortable about stepping down and go down in history as a popular president, Guðni speculated.
Guðni stated it was both politically clever and problematic for other potential candidates that the president didn’t state with absolute clarity whether he intends to run again as president.
Other candidates may be hesitant to step forward because of the uncertainty surrounding Ólafur Ragnar’s statement and so he is bound to clarify his intention soon, Guðni reasoned.
Click here to read more about Ólafur Ragnar’s New Year’s Day speech.