Gnarr: Third Mayor To Finish Term In Over 30 Years - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Gnarr: Third Mayor To Finish Term In Over 30 Years

Published May 16, 2014

Main photo by
Julia Staples

Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr will this month become the third mayor of Iceland’s capital to actually complete their term in office since 1982.

Jón Gnarr is the 11th mayor Reykjavík has had since 1982, and an Icelandic mayor’s term is four years long. As the math will tell you, not everyone finished their term in office. In fact, before Jón Gnarr, only two other Reykjavík mayors actually completed a full term in office: Social Democrat Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir and former Independence Party chairman (and current Morgunblaðið co-editor) Davíð Oddsson.

Political scientist Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson told Vísir that Jón Gnarr is “quitting at the top”, as he put it.

“One could say that he has shown that the traditional political formula isn’t a law of nature,” he told reporters. “It’s possible to win this in a way different from traditional political parties. He speaks to voters differently than other politicians, and a lot of people have taken well to this.”

Of the other mayors that Reykjavík has had, the shortest-serving was Árni Sigfússon, who is currently the mayor of Reykjanesbær. His time in office only lasted 89 days in 1994. By contrast, the longest-serving mayor was Gunnar Thoroddsen, who was mayor from 1947 to 1960 – about 56 times longer than Árni’s term in office.

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