Iceland's president won't seek re-election after 20 years in job

Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson announced in his New Year's address Friday that he will not seek re-election for the office he has held for 20 years.

"I feel that the right crossroads are now ahead to transfer the responsibilities of the president to other shoulders, and have therefore decided not to stand for re-election," he said.

Grimsson, 72, took office in 1996 and was most recently voted in again in 2012. The next election will take place on June 25.

The office is largely ceremonial, but Grimsson has used his position to veto government legislation that he disagreed with.

He struck down bills to compensate Britain and the Netherlands for money spent to secure savings wiped out by the collapse of Icelandic online bank Icesave in 2008.

Grimsson also campaigned against the government's aspirations to join the European Union and called for more issues to be put to referendum.

Last update: Sat, 02/01/2016 - 20:06
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