Calls On OSCE To Monitor Iceland's Presidential Elections - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Calls On OSCE To Monitor Iceland’s Presidential Elections

Published May 13, 2016

Main photo by
JD554/Wikimedia Commons

Presidential hopeful Ástþór Magnússon has sent a letter to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to send election monitors to Iceland.

In a letter (.pdf file) to the organisation, Ástþór accuses state broadcasting system RÚV of having “hijacked” the elections. He contends that another presidential candidate, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, was specifically chosen by RÚV to be their favorite, granting him airtime which Ástþór says “amounted to several hours of free promotion for his presidential campaign on prime time television and radio while other candidates were completely and deliberately bypassed”.

Ástþór then reminds the OSCE of his previous calls for election monitoring.

“I announced my candidacy for presidential elections in Iceland on 2 January 2016 with a letter to OSCE appealing to you to send inspectors to Iceland well ahead of the elections to monitor the media,” he writes. “This was because of my past experiences [with] how the media has been misused in previous elections here, like [in] 1996.”

As such, Ástþór believes international action must be taken.

“Already public opinion has been formed by breaking almost [every] rule in the book about free and democratic elections,” writes Ástþór. “We are now watching how another president may be elected in Iceland with trickery. If the OSCE has any morals and real intentions to honor its obligations under its charter to ensure that democracy functions in the western world, their inspectors should jump on the next flight to Reykjavik.”

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