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Iceland's Grimsson wins fifth presidential term

STOCKHOLM, July 1 — Iceland's incumbent President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson beat his rivals in the presidential election to win his fifth consecutive term, according to reports reaching here from Reykjavik on Sunday.

The poll stations in Iceland opened at 9:00 a.m. local time (0900 GMT)and closed at 22:00 (2200 GMT) on Saturday.

By the time 48 percent of votes were counted, Grimsson had gained more than 51 percent of the votes, with his main rival, 37-year-old journalist Thora Arnorsdottir getting about 33 percent.

The remaining votes would not change the candidates' present orders, reported The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service(RUV).

Grimsson, who has been in power since 1996, declared that the next four years will be his last term.

The 69-year-old president had said in his New Year's address that he might not run for another term but announced that he changed his mind after receiving a 30,000-signature petition asking him to stay for another term.

Claiming the country needs "fresh blood" after financial collapse, Arnorsdottir gained much attention both at home and abroad.

A mother of three children, Arnorsdottir even interrupted her campaign in May to give birth to the youngest child. She described her attempt after the voting as "the thing people do one time in their lives."

According to the Icelandic constitution, its president, as a ceremonial head of state, enjoys limited power but may serve unlimited terms. (PNA/Xinhua) scs/rsm

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