Voting underway in Iceland for new president

Voting began Saturday for a new president in Iceland, with a record nine candidates in the running.

About 240,000 voters were eligible to vote for a successor to Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, who is stepping down after 20 years in office.

While largely playing a ceremonial role, the president does influence the formation of government. 

Favourite to win is Gudni Thorlacius Johannesson, a historian specializing on the presidency of Iceland who is running as an independent.

Johannesson won public acclaim for television appearances in April when he commented on events before and after then-premier Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned over leaked data in the Panama Papers suggesting he and his wife had an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands. Both denied wrongdoing.

Other main contenders are author Andri Snaer Magnason, and former conservative premier David Oddsson, who also served as head of the central bank.

Polling stations close at 10 pm (2200 GMT). Results are due Sunday.

Last update: Sat, 25/06/2016 - 11:12

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