The Government of Iceland

The Government of Iceland

Icelandic Government

Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Iceland conventional short form: Iceland local long form: Lydveldid Island local short form: Island

Government type: constitutional republic

Capital: name: Reykjavik geographic coordinates: 64 09 N, 21 57 W time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions: 8 regions; Austurland, Hofudhborgarsvaedhi, Nordhurland Eystra, Nordhurland Vestra, Sudhurland, Sudhurnes, Vestfirdhir, Vesturland

Independence: 1 December 1918 (became a sovereign state under the Danish Crown); 17 June 1944 (from Denmark)

National holiday: Independence Day, 17 June (1944)

Constitution: 16 June 1944, effective 17 June 1944; amended many times

Legal system: civil law system based on Danish law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: chief of state: President Olafur Ragnar GRIMSSON (since 1 August 1996) head of government: Prime Minister Johanna SIGURDARDOTTIR (since 2 February 2009); cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister elections: president, a largely ceremonial post, is elected by popular vote for a four-year term (no term limits); election last held 28 June 2004 (next to be held in June 2012); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually the prime minister note: the election for president planned for 28 June 2008 was never held because Olafur Ragnar GRIMSSON had no challengers; he was sworn in on 1 August 2008; a coalition government of the Social Democratic Alliance and the Left-Green Movement, headed by Johanna SIGURDARDOTTIR, assumed office 1 February 2009

Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Althing (63 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) elections: last held 25 April 2009 (elections to be held by NA 2013) election results: percent of vote by party - Social Democratic Alliance 29.8%, Independence Party 23.7%, Left-Green Movement 21.7%, Progressive Party 14.8%, Citizens' Movement 7.2%, other 2.8%; seats by party - Social Democratic Alliance 20, Independence Party 16, Left-Green Alliance 14, Progressive Party 9, Citizens' Movement 4

Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Haestirettur (justices are appointed for life by the Minister of Justice); eight district courts (justices are appointed for life by the Minister of Justice)

Political parties and leaders: Citizens' Movement; Independence Party or IP [Bjarni BENEDIKTSSON, Jr.]; Left-Green Movement or LGM [Steingrimur SIGFUSSON]; Liberal Party or LP [Gudjon KRISTJANSSON]; Progressive Party or PP [Sigmundur David GUNNLAUGSSON; Social Democratic Alliance or SDA [Johanna SIGUROARDOTTIR] (includes People's Alliance or PA, Social Democratic Party or SDP, Women's List)

Political pressure groups and leaders: People's Voices [Hordur TORFARSON]; New Times; Civic Action Association [Gunnar SIGURDSSON]; The Association of Military Opponents [Stefan PALSSON]

International organization participation: Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CE, EAPC, EBRD, EFTA, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NATO, NC, NEA, NIB, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WCO, WEU (associate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Hjalmar HANNESSON chancery: Suite 1200, 1156 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005-1704 telephone: [1] (202) 265-6653 FAX: [1] (202) 265-6656 consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Hjalmar HANNESSON embassy: Laufasvegur 21, 101 Reykjavik mailing address: US Department of State, 5640 Reykjavik Place, Washington, D.C. 20521-5640 telephone: [354] 562-9100 FAX: [354] 562-9118

Flag description: blue with a red cross outlined in white extending to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side in the style of the Dannebrog (Danish flag)

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