From Iceland — Ástþór Magnússon Running For President Again

Ástþór Magnússon Running For President Again

Published January 3, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Surprising exactly no one, perennial candidate Ástþór Magnússon has announced he is running for president again.

Vísir reports that Ástþór, who first ran for president in 1996 and has done so every election since then, sent a letter to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) wherein he announced his candidacy. At the same time, he encouraged the OSCE to visit Iceland as election observers.

The purpose for the OSCE’s presence, he said, would be to “supervise the election preparations and ensure that an honest, open and democratic discussion about the presidential candidates is conducted, so that the nation can choose their president after familiarising themselves with what the candidates have to offer.”

The request is a direct reference to the elections in 2012. At that time, he accused some media outlets of bias and unbalanced coverage.

In an article he wrote for Fréttablaðið at the time, he compared the size of column space devoted to another candidate, Þóra Arnórsdóttir, to the space given to him, and pointed out a sizable difference.

“We need look no further than the above comparison,” he wrote, “and the presidential campaigns manufactured by [media company] 365 and RÚV to see the power of the media in a nutshell.” Þóra was a broadcast journalist at RÚV, and 365 owns Fréttablaðið.

Ástþór has opened a candidacy page on Facebook, as well as his official candidacy website.

Presidential elections will be held on June 25.

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