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Iceland's president to step down

Grimsson had planned to step down at the last election in 2012, but changed his mind due to strong voter support.

Baku. 3 January. REPORT.AZ/ Iceland's president since 1996, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, said on Friday he would not run for another term at the next election in June.

In a New Year speech, Grimsson, 72, said he felt it was the right time "to transfer the responsibilities of the president onto other shoulders". Report informs referring to Turkish media.

Grimsson had planned to step down at the last election in 2012, but changed his mind due to strong voter support.

"The many-faceted uncertainty which, four years ago, resulted in calls on me to continue in office as president is happily no longer a factor in the current situation," Grimsson said.

More than previous presidents, Grimsson has used his right to demand popular votes on key issues, vesting real political power in a position that had been seen as largely ceremonial.

In 2010 and 2011 he demanded referendums on deals made by Iceland's government to pay the governments of Britain and the Netherlands for their bailouts of customers of private Icelandic banks. In both cases, voters rejected the deals.

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