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Monday July 22, 2024

Businesswoman Tomasdottir elected Iceland’s next president

By AFP
June 03, 2024
Newly-elected Icelands President Halla Tomasdottir addresses supporters in Reykjavik on June 2, 2024. — AFP
Newly-elected Iceland's President Halla Tomasdottir addresses supporters in Reykjavik on June 2, 2024. — AFP

REYKJAVIK: Businesswoman Halla Tomasdottir was on Sunday declared the winner of Iceland´s presidential election, final results showed, beating former prime minister Katrin Jakobsdottir whom critics said was too political for the post.

Jakobsdottir conceded defeat early on Sunday and congratulated Tomasdottir, the CEO of The B Team, a global non-profit co-founded by UK business tycoon Richard Branson to promote business practices focused on humanity and the climate.

Iceland´s president holds a largely ceremonial position in the parliamentary republic, acting as a guarantor of the constitution and national unity.

He or she does however have the power to veto legislation or submit it to a referendum.

Tomasdottir, 55, won 34.3 percent of votes, ahead of 48-year-old Jakobsdottir, who garnered 25.5 percent after stepping down as prime minister of a left-right government in April to run in Saturday´s election.

Tomasdottir, who came second in an earlier bid for the presidency in 2016, received much broader support than opinion polls had suggested in the run-up to this year´s vote, spurting in the final days of the campaign after running neck-and-neck with Jakobsdottir. Jakobsdottir conceded defeat already in the early hours of Sunday, before the last votes were counted.