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Head of state: Iceland gets new president: Tómasdóttir wins election

Head of state: Iceland gets new president: Tómasdóttir wins election

Iceland has a new president. Halla Tómasdóttir defeated the largest number of competitors the island has ever had.

In Iceland, Halla Tómasdóttir won the presidential election. After most of the votes were counted during a long election night, she ended up with a clear lead over her competitors. It was initially a close race between Tómasdóttir and Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who already has a lot of experience in politics through her former role as the country’s prime minister. Both were considered favorites until the end. Jakobsdóttir finally conceded defeat and congratulated Tómasdóttir on his election victory.

Voter turnout was just under 79 percent, as reported by the Icelandic broadcaster RUV. This was significantly higher than in the last election. Almost 270,000 Icelanders were eligible to vote. A few votes were still being counted when it was already clear that Tómasdóttir had won. This makes her the country’s seventh president and the second woman to hold the office. She will begin her new role on August 1.

No third term for Gudni Jóhannesson

The 55-year-old businesswoman succeeds Gudni Jóhannesson, who has been president of the North Atlantic island since 2016. The 55-year-old announced in his New Year’s address that he would not run for a third term.

Tómasdóttir had already run for office in 2016 and lost the race for the presidency to her rival Gudni Jóhannesson, who subsequently held the office for eight years.

The role of the president is largely representative. Iceland is not part of the European Union, but, like Norway and Liechtenstein, it is part of the European Economic Area. On the island, which has a population of around 380,000, presidential elections are held every four years, provided there is more than one candidate. This time there were twelve candidates – more than ever before.

Source: Stern

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