Most Icelanders Want Presidential Term Limits - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Most Icelanders Want Presidential Term Limits

Published August 20, 2015

Photos by
OddurBen/Wikimedia Commons

A new poll shows the majority of Icelanders want term limits for the office of the president, with about half setting the cap at two terms.

RÚV reports that, according to a new poll from Maskína, six out of ten Icelanders believe the office of the presidency should have term limits. 50% believe that limit should be two terms, while only 17% believe the office does not need term limits.

Amongst those who want to see presidential term limits, 45% set their preferable limit at two, and 37% said three terms.

In terms of demographics, university-educated women were amongst the most likely to support term limits. While most Progressive voters are against term limits, most voters for the Social Democrats, Leftist-Greens and the Pirate Party support them.

Most Icelandic presidents have spent a long time in power. Ásgeir Ásgeirsson (1952-1968) and Vigdís Finnbogadóttir (1980-1996) served four terms, while Kristján Eldjárn (1968-1980) served three. The current president, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson (elected in 1996), will by the end of his term have been in office for five terms, or for 20 years.

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