Seven MPs from the ruling coalition have submitted a parliamentary proposal calling for the office of the Prime Minister, in cooperation with the office of the President, to create ethics regulations for the presidency.
The proposal in question is being supported by Álfheiður Ingadóttir, Árni Þór Sigurðsson, Atli Gíslason, Valgerður Bjarnadóttir, Sigríður Ingibjörg Ingadóttir, Þráinn Bertelsson and Sigmundur Ernir Rúnarsson.
The idea is not a new one. In fact, the Special Investigative Commission (SIC) strongly advised that ethics regulations for the president be set in place, pointing out that the president was often the endorsing spokesmen for many of Iceland’s venture capitalists, thereby contributing to the smoke screen of financial stability in Iceland.
This new proposal cites the SIC report, as well as communications between the offices of the Prime Minister and the President at the time. Last year, Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir asked President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson if he felt it would be a good idea to work on creating some ethical guidelines for the office. The President responded that the portion of the SIC report criticising him was based on a “misunderstanding” and was not worth responding to. When the Prime Minister begged to differ, the president responded that the PM’s proposal was “an audacious intervention of the relationship between parliament and the office of the president”.
As the legislation is a proposal, and not a bill, its passage does not ensure that such guidelines will be put in place, but rather serves as an official statement of the intentions of parliament; a goal to work towards.
The president intends to run for re-election this year, for a fifth possible term.