From Iceland — Presidential Candidates: Ástþór Magnússon Wium

Presidential Candidates: Ástþór Magnússon Wium

Published May 9, 2024

Presidential Candidates: Ástþór Magnússon Wium

In light of the upcoming Icelandic presidential elections, we reached out to all candidates for answers to our pressing questions. Here is what one of them said.

Ástþór Magnússon Wium

Please provide your name, age and current occupation.  

Ástþór Magnússon Wium, founder of Peace 2000. 

Why do you want to be president?  

I want to mobilise Bessastaðir to cultivate peace and democracy. The President should serve as the nation’s impartial unifying symbol. I have no ties to political parties, nor have I worked with them and thus able to serve as the nation’s objective ombudsman at Bessastaðir. The President of Iceland should get a new role as an international spokesperson of peace and human rights. 

(It connects to the idea that Iceland should establish a peace university and a development centre of peace, democracy, and human rights, and the United Nations’ Peacekeeping be offered facilites at Keflavík Airport and that the presidential office should purposefully work towards bringing related operations to Iceland). Multiple academics in the field of peace agree with me that Iceland could be leading figure in peace and the development of democracy in the world. 

If Icelanders would heed the call, a new and positive employment sector could be established which would bring thousands of Icelanders blooming opportunities in the future.  

Why should people vote for you for president rather than another candidate?  

There are only two options, peace or war. Through 28 years of advocating for peace, I have proved that as President, I will try everything to reach a peace agreement with Russia and prevent a nuclear attack which military specialists believe is imminent. If you decline the peace candidacy, you are throwing your vote on the fires of war and sending a clear message to the authorities to continue purchasing munitions with your taxes. 

In 2016, in the coming presidential elections, in a live broadcast by RÚV, I warned that we would enter a war with Russia within a few years if we didn’t abruptly stop and mobilise Bessastaðir to peace, among other things. The nation did not listen and voted a militarist. Now we are at war with Russia. Today, Icelandic authorities are spending the nation’s taxes to purchase munitions and funding the war against Russia. The consequences of these events, along with the government’s policy to accommodate a supply depot for the U.S. in the war against Russia, lead to Iceland becoming one of the first targets if a nuclear war breaks out, which many military specialists warn could happen soon. While NATO soldiers are situated in a nuclear bunker at Keflavík Airport, the Icelandic nation is exposed like the public was in Hiroshima in the last century. 

What is the role of the president and how will you fulfil it? 

The nation needs a president which unites vision, honesty, patience, and perseverance. My criticism in 1996 on politics, the financial system, and military participation scared the influencers of old Iceland and unified to distort my image and make myself and my message unbelievable in the public mind. My words of warning about the imminent economic collapse, which at the time were met with negativity, proved to be true. Additionally, the game of illusion surrounding the war in Iraq has been exposed. By restlessly continuing for 28 years through much adversity, I have demonstrated that I have the strength the President needs to pursue issues and keep the forces at bay which want to manipulate the power of parliament, governance or media, protecting the special interests at the expense of the nation.

Unlike the so-called “unpolitical” political scientists which soar around on the election machines decorated with the bootlickers of special interests, I am running on my own merits and without the support of the upper class or the media elite of the financial vikings. I don’t belong to any political party and have never worked with any of them. I will stand guard at Bessastaðir as the safety valve the nation needs to protect the interests of the whole. 

What is not the role of the president? 

The president is not an MP and should not get mixed in the operations of Alþingi except in emergencies. 

If elected, what would be your first order of business as president?  

Commence peace talks to end the war with Russia and prevent a nuclear attack on us.  

If elected, would you put a cap on how many terms you would foresee yourself serving? 

One. 

What are your views on the Presidential veto powers? 
The President should promote an active democracy in Iceland and the nation should be given the chance for increased participation by developing direct democracy facilitated by contemporary technology. The President should use the right to appeal to move controversial issues before the nation to decide on, should he believe that the legislation in question goes against the majority will of the nation. I was one of the first contemporaries to want to mobilise the president’s veto power to increase the public’s democratic participation. My ideology was published officially in 1995. Later in the publication Virkjum Bessastaði in 1996 and with the establishment of the Democratic Movement in 1998. 

In what circumstances do you think is appropriate to use presidential veto powers? 

Before the presidential elections in 1996, I talked about increasing the people’s power. One of the first to do so, I said I wanted to start such a democratic development by mobilising the President’s right to appeal in all major conflicts. So-called commentators were invited on state media to say that this was not a possibility, since no precedence existed for a presidential intervention. The incumbent president used the right to appeal eight years later when the sponsors of his campaign (owners of Norðurljós-365 miðlar) wanted to stop the media law, by any means possible. Big issues, including Kárahnjúkar, the disability issue, and the first Icesave law went through with the president’s confirmation. It wasn’t until 15 years in office when polls showed the president’s growing unpopularity that he decided to use the right to appeal. Referendums on the main issues of contention is a powerful method to bridge the gap between parliament and people, and preventing them from forming. I want referendums to become a natural part of the future’s democratic development, rather than dramatic theatrics. I have pointed to methods to decrease  the cost of elections, for example using the ATM system as a polling booth parallel to specific solutions for those who can’t access an ATM.  

What are your thoughts on constitutional reform? 

The constitution is the cornerstone of our society and democracy. The constitution needs to be respected, it needs to be brought into the the present but not made a meaningless document. The constitution lacks provisions on punishment which could be used if it is not followed. In the upcoming presidential elections, I have watched how the constitution’s democratic rules have been broken by media, publishing dubious and even forged polls and the “opinions” of so-called “political scientist” media on their outcome. In that capacity, Icelandic presidential elections have in many ways resembled elections in dictatorships. One of the most extreme examples was a Kastljós interview with Professor Dietrich Fisher in 2004. Most of his important points were cut out of the interview before it was broadcast on state media. Following the interview, Dietrich wrote this in Morgunblaðið: “This method to prevent free and open discussion is reminiscent of the 1992 campaign in Yugoslavia where a spokesperson of peace, Milan Panic, was prevented from promoting his peace policy to voters because the press in the country was entirely controlled by supporters of the incumbent president, Slobodan Milosevic.”

 If elected, how do you envision your interactions with other heads of state? 

I will seek to have good interactions with foreign heads of state and get them on my side to make Iceland the country of peace. Get heads of state, political leaders, enterprise and public on board to build a vigorous international operation based on the cultivation of peace and democracy, relocate the operations of the UN to Iceland and create a new economic sector which could create 21.000 new jobs and increase the national income by 600 billion. 

If you have a spouse/partner, how active do they envision themselves during your time at Bessastaðir?  

We will do everything to force a peace treaty to prevent the war which military specialists believe is brewing with Russia and a nuclear war in the Nordic region. This issue is serious and it jeopardises our whole future and our actions against this take priority over anything else at Bessastaðir, if I would become President of Iceland. 

Which former president would you aspire to emulate and why?  

I will not look in such rear-view mirrors. Through peace treaties, have the task to do everything I can as president to prevent Icelandic society being eradicated. 

This article includes the full responses of one presidential candidate. Click here to see what the other candidates said

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