President of Iceland

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President of Iceland
Forseti Íslands
Coat of arms of the President of Iceland.svg
Icelandic Presidential.svg
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the President of Iceland
Incumbent
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson

since 1 August 1996
Office of the President
Member of State Council of Iceland
Residence Bessastaðir
Seat Garðabær, Capital Region
Term length Four years
Renewable indefinitely as long as the incumbent wins presidential elections or is uncontested.
Constituting instrument Constitution of Iceland
Precursor Monarch of Iceland
Formation 17 June 1944
First holder Sveinn Björnsson
Deputy
Salary 2,048,229 ISK monthly (2013)
Website english.forseti.is (English)
forseti.is (Icelandic)
Coat of arms of Iceland.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Iceland
Constitution

The President of Iceland (Icelandic: Forseti Íslands) is Iceland's elected head of state. The president is elected to a four-year term by universal adult suffrage and has limited powers. The constitution does not limit the number of terms the president is allowed to serve. There have been five presidents since Iceland became independent from Denmark in 1944. The incumbent is Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who is now in his fifth term as president, first elected in 1996, and most recently re-elected in 2012.

The presidential residence is situated in Bessastaðir in Garðabær, near the capital city Reykjavík. The nation's constitution specifies that when the president cannot perform the duties of the office, such as when he or she is abroad or under anesthesia, the prime minister, the president of the parliament, and the president of the supreme court collectively assume the power of the office. The three vote on any presidential decisions that must be made during that time. The president is also the designated grand master of the Order of the Falcon.

List of presidents[edit]

Term: 1 appointed · 2 died in office · 3 uncontested

President Took office Left office Duration Term Prime ministers
1 Sveinn Björnsson.jpg Sveinn Björnsson
(1881–1952)
17 June 1944 25 January 19522 7 years, 7 months, 8 days
(2,778 days)
1 (1944)1 Björn Þórðarson
Ólafur Thors
Stefán Jóhann Stefánsson
Ólafur Thors
Steingrímur Steinþórsson
2 (1945)3
3 (1949)3
Regent of Iceland 1941–1944, later became the first president of Iceland. In 1950 considered forming a government that did not rely on parliamentary support after leaders of the parliamentary parties had reached an impasse. The only president to die in office; this led to a vacancy, the powers of the office being constitutionally vested in the prime minister (Steingrímur Steinþórsson), the president of parliament (Jón Pálmason) and the president of the supreme court (Jón Ásbjörnsson) jointly.
2 Asgeir Asgeirsson.jpg Ásgeir Ásgeirsson
(1894–1972)
1 August 1952 1 August 1968 16 years
(5,844 days)
4 (1952) Steingrímur Steinþórsson
Ólafur Thors
Hermann Jónasson
Emil Jónsson
Ólafur Thors
Bjarni Benediktsson
Ólafur Thors
Bjarni Benediktsson
5 (1956)3
6 (1960)3
7 (1964)3
First president elected by popular vote.
3 Kristján Eldjárn (1982).jpg Kristján Eldjárn
(1916–1982)
1 August 1968 1 August 1980 12 years
(4,383 days)
8 (1968) Bjarni Benediktsson
Jóhann Hafstein
Ólafur Jóhannesson
Geir Hallgrímsson
Ólafur Jóhannesson
Benedikt Sigurðsson Gröndal
Gunnar Thoroddsen
9 (1972)3
10 (1976)3
At one point considered forming a government that did not rely on parliamentary support after leaders of the parliamentary parties had reached an impasse.
4 Vigdis Finnbogadottir (1985).jpg Vigdís Finnbogadóttir
(1930–)
1 August 1980 1 August 1996 16 years
(5,844 days)
11 (1980) Gunnar Thoroddsen
Steingrímur Hermannsson
Þorsteinn Pálsson
Steingrímur Hermannsson
Davíð Oddsson
12 (1984)3
13 (1988)
14 (1992)3
Was the world's first elected female president and overwhelmingly won a contested election in 1988.
5 Olafur Ragnar Grimsson - Davos 2011.jpg Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
(1943–)
1 August 1996 Incumbent 17 years, 347 days
(6556 days)
15 (1996) Davíð Oddsson
Halldór Ásgrímsson
Geir Haarde
Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir
Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson
16 (2000)3
17 (2004)
18 (2008)3
19 (2012)
First president to use the constitutional authorisation to deny signing a law from the parliament, thus sending the law to a national referendum, on three occasions.

Latest election[edit]

V • T • E Summary of the 30 June 2012 Icelandic presidential election results
Candidate Party Votes %
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson independent 84,036 52.78
Thóra Arnórsdóttir independent 52,795 33.16
Ari Trausti Guðmundsson independent 13,762 8.64
Herdis Thorgeirsdottir independent 4,189 2.63
Andrea Ólafsdóttir independent 2,867 1.80
Hannes Bjarnason independent 1,556 0.98
Valid votes 159,205 97.52
Invalid/Blank votes 4,046 2.48
Total 163,251 100.00
Electorate/Turnout 235,495 69.32
Source: Nohlen & Stöver
Last election (2008) — Next election (2016)


See also[edit]

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