- Polls from Gallup had indicated before the election that Guðni would secure about 90 percent of the vote.
- Guðmundur, who performed poorly, managing under eight percent of the vote, acknowledged his defeat long before the final result was clear.
- The post of President is largely ceremonial and carries no term limit.
For Iceland’s President, Guðni Jóhannesson, a win was almost certain in Saturday’s presidential election. True to the polls’ predictions, Gudni was re-elected by a landslide. His only challenger, Guðmundur Franklín Jónsson, came an astronomically distant second.
When the last votes were counted on Sunday morning, Guðni had managed to garner 92.2 percent of the vote. Guðmundur got 7.8% of the vote. There are about 252,000 registered voters in Iceland, and 67 percent of them took part in Saturday’s election.
In an interview with the TV station, RUV, Guðni spoke of the leader whom he considers as a role model, saying that he is greatly inspired by the German manager of the English football club, Liverpool, Jürgen Klopp. Liverpool just secured the Premier League championship this week, its first top flight title in 30 years.
Guðni elaborated that, although he was not a supporter of Liverpool, he wanted to be a leader like Klopp. The president elaborated that Klopp had shown great leadership when he guided Liverpool to become champions again in England.
“He showed responsibility but also humbleness. He was competitive but also polite. Firm but also humble. That’s the way good leaders are and that is the sort of president I want to be for the next four years,” Johannesson said.
Guðmundur, who performed poorly, managing under eight percent of the vote, acknowledged his defeat long before the final result was clear. “I send my congratulations to Gudni and his family,” he stated as he conceded defeat. Polls from Gallup had indicated before the election that Guðni would secure about 90 percent of the vote.
The 52-year-old Guðni, who is a history professor by trade, is now set to once again govern the approximately 364,000 Icelanders for another four years term. Guðni was first elected into office in 2016.
At the time, his campaign emphasized his independent vision of the presidency, and he appealed to many Icelanders with his calm nature and consensus-oriented approach. He, at the time, also vowed to restore their faith in the country’s political system.
He also vowed to modernize political life and give voters more of a voice by, among other things, introducing citizen-initiated referendums. At the same time, Guðni has made his mark in connection with LGBT rights. He has also been regularly seen collecting garbage in the capital, Reykjavik.
The presidential post in Iceland is largely ceremonial, although it also has the power to veto the decisions taken by parliament. As per the Icelandic constitution, the president is normally elected to a four-year term, won by popular vote, and there are no term limits.
Hence, a president can serve for several consecutive terms, as long as they retain the confidence of the voters. Iceland’s presidential residence is situated in Bessastaðir, in Garðabær, close to the nation’s capital city, Reykjavík.
A Nordic island country in the North Atlantic, Iceland has a population of 364,134 and geographically, it covers an area of 103,000 km2 (40,000 sq mi). It is the most sparsely populated country in Europe.