Gudni Johannesson on 26 June 2016 won Iceland’s presidential election. The history professor who ran as an independent in the election was able to secure 39.1% of the vote. He will succeed Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, who served 20 years as head of state. The elections were held in the backdrop of the Panama Papers leak in April, which implicated several top officials of the country. Johannesson, ahistory professor, who is a newcomer in the politics decided to run for the presidency after the leak and rode a wave of anti-establishment sentiment.
Halla Tomasdottir, a businesswoman without party affiliation, came second with 27.9%. While David Oddsson, a former conservative prime minister and central bank governor won just 13% of the vote.
President in Iceland
A president, elected head of state, in Iceland holds a largely ceremonial position. The president is elected to a four-year term by universal adult suffrage and has limited powers. The constitution does not limit the number of terms the president is allowed to serve.
He acts as a guarantor of the constitution and national unity and carries the powers to block legislation.
There have been five presidents since Iceland became a Republic in 1944.