Iceland has a new president Guðni Th. Jóhannesson

  • Guðni Th. Jóhannesson is married to Canadian-born Eliza Reid
Jun 26 2016

Yesterday Iceland elected a new president.  After the final deadline to announce a candidacy, with the requirement to have a list of at least 1,500 supporters, on May 21st, nine candidates competed.   Three to four candidates were considered to have a break for the job, and five that most Icelanders thought would not have a chance, which became apparent in the elections.
The three top candidates that most Icelanders would have been happy to see as a president were Guðni Th. Johannesson, Halla Tómasdóttir an international lecturer on business and current affairs and the popular writer Andri Snær Magnason. All very competent and qualified for the job. 
The fourth candidate a former Prime Minister, Mr. David Oddsson, has a relatively large group of diehard followers, which probably gave him the illusion that he had a chance. Anyone with a mild understanding of Icelandic politics could have told him that he did not have a chance beyond his diehard followers that apparently and currently stands at the number 13% of the electorate. The 13% outcome was a historical humiliation for this former popular Prime Minister that many consider one of Iceland’s largest politician of the 20th century.
After five weeks of campaigning where Guðni Th. Johannesson a teacher of history at the University of Iceland kept a substantial lead in all pools, Guðni was elected the new president of Iceland. Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, who celebrated his 48th birthday on June 26th, the day after the election, is expected to be more of people’s president contrary to his predecessor, Mr. Grímsson, who took every opportunity to interpret the constitution to find a reason to step into the political and international arena. Guðni is expected to be a more inline with Mr. Grímssons two predecessors Vigdís Finnbogadóttir and Kristján Eldjárn.
Guðni Th. Jóhannesson is married to Canadian-born Eliza Reid and they have four young children and Guðni also has a daughter from his first marriage. Both Guðni and Eliza are very qualified and competent to take on the task ahead and make the presidency again a symbol of unity.  For those who are interested in our new president and his wife Hit Iceland took an interview with Eliza a few weeks ago that you can read here.