Iceland elects businesswoman Halla Tomasdottir as new president, broadcaster RUV reports

By Thomson Reuters Jun 2, 2024 | 5:35 AM

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Halla Tomasdottir, an Icelandic entrepreneur and businesswoman, on Sunday emerged as the winner of the presidential election in the North Atlantic nation, and will take over the mostly ceremonial role from incumbent Gudni Johannesson, broadcaster RUV reported.

Tomasdottir, 55, received 34% of the votes cast on Saturday to beat former prime minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, who stepped down as premier in April to run for president but garnered only 25% of votes, according to RUV.

The president, who is elected for a four-year term, carries limited political powers but often acts as a uniting figure in the island nation of almost 400,000 people.

Iceland, a NATO member, has recently been hit by numerous volcanic eruptions south of the capital Reykjavik, which have triggered the indefinite evacuation of thousands.

(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Louise Rasmussen; Editing by Hugh Lawson)