Much-loved comedian and former Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr has decided not to run for higher office, after months of speculation on a potential presidential bid. He revealed his intention in an editorial on Vísir this morning.
His reasoning is fair enough. Despite the fun parts of the job – listed by Gnarr to include representing Iceland internationally, standing up for peace, climate change responsibility, human rights and equality, and throwing Iceland’s biggest and best Halloween party in the graveyard on the presidential estate – he simply doesn’t want to spend most of his waking life surrounded by politicians.
“I shudder at the thought of becoming a part of the deplorable and pathetic culture which is the Icelandic political culture. I cannot be bothered to face the pushy guy again. I simply cannot let myself and my wife be treated like that again. I cannot let my son be treated like that. I have, therefore, decided that I will not run for the office of the President of Iceland this time around. Perhaps later. I appreciate all the friendship and respect shown to me.”
Jón Gnarr has long had beef with Iceland’s political culture, as he explained at greater length in our interview with him last year, and made reforming the “masculine mentality” of the city council’s working culture a priority of his time in office.
But despite calls for Jón to now try and effect positive change on these issues from the office of President, it appears that won’t be happening any time soon.