Most Icelanders Want Presidential Term Limits - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Most Icelanders Want Presidential Term Limits

Published May 18, 2012

The majority of Icelanders believe the number of times a president can be re-elected should be limited, but support for the idea varies greatly by party affiliation.
Current president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who is running for re-election, has been president since 1996. If re-elected, this will mean 20 years in office. While currently there is no law which limits the number of times a president can by re-elected, a new poll conducted by the Social Sciences department at the University of Iceland shows that the majority of Icelanders believe in presidential term limits.
64% said the president should be limited to a certain number of terms. Of those, about a third said the president should be limited to two terms, about half said three terms, and about a fifth said four or more terms. 36% of total respondents do not believe there is a need for term limits.
Support for term limits varied greatly by party affiliation as well. The greatest level of support for the idea is among Social Democrats, with 75% agreeing with the idea. The same can also be said for 69% of Leftist-Greens and 59% of voters for the Independence Party. The lowest support for term limits came from Progressives, only half of whom supported the idea.
On a related note, most Icelanders want the office of the presidency to remain. Only 14% said they believed the office should be done away with, with 73% supporting keeping the office and 13% without an opinion either way.

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