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Voters in Iceland are picking the new president of the rugged island near the Arctic Circle


LONDON (AP) — Voters in Iceland are choosing a president on Saturday, selecting from a field of 12 people, including a former prime minister.

The candidates are vying to replace outgoing President Gudni Th. Johannesson, who didn't seek reelection for the largely ceremonial post. The winner will be the seventh president of Iceland since the founding of the republic.

Among the best known of the candidates is Katrin Jakobsdottir, who became prime minister in 2017 after three parties formed a broad governing coalition in hopes of moving Iceland out of a cycle of crisis that triggered three elections. Jakobsdottir resigned as prime minister earlier this year to run for president.

Iceland, a rugged island of around 380,000 people just below the Arctic Circle, has been ranked as the world’s most gender-equal country 14 years in a row by the World Economic Forum, which measures pay, education, health care and other factors.

Polling stations opened at 9 a.m. (0900 GMT) and are set to close at 10 p.m. (2200 GMT), with results expected Sunday.