The Hot Button: Presidents - The Reykjavik Grapevine

The Hot Button: Presidents

The Hot Button: Presidents

Published June 18, 2016

Photos by
Lóa Hjálmtýsdóttir

The new hot button issue is president fever. Elections in Iceland, from small villages to Parliament itself, are almost always about party politics. The exception to this is the presidential election. The President himself may have had a political history in one party or another, but Iceland’s President does not run on behalf of any political party but the Party of Me. This means presidential candidates sell themselves to the public on their individual positions and policies, attracting a wide spectrum of colourful characters seeking the office. This year’s campaign season has been especially animated and unpredictable, with some campaign tactics arising that Iceland has never seen before, and has arguably outpaced parliamentary elections this autumn as the focal point of the Icelandic political imagination. It’s for this reason and others that the presidential elections are latest hot button.

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