Olafur Grimsson has been confirmed as the winner in Iceland’s presidential race for a fifth time with a 52.4 per cent share of the votes.
The 69-year-old’s popularity soared after he defied Britain and the Netherlands over the collapsed Iceland banks. The president vetoed a bill proposing to pay almost four billion euros to Dutch and British savers who lost out when Landsbanki collapsed in 2008.
His closest rival was the politically-inexperienced television journalist Thora Arnorsdottir. The 37-year-old, who interrupted her campaign in May to give birth to her third child, conceded defeat on Saturday. She says she has no plans to run again in four years.
An online petition by around 10 per cent of voters persuaded Grimsson to stand again after he had said he would not run for office. Now he is set for a record fifth term.
The presidency is ceremonial, but Grimson’s decisions have brought a political edge to it over the years.