Greenland Government 2020


Greenland Government 2020

Page last updated on January 27, 2020

Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Greenland
local long form: none
local short form: Kalaallit Nunaat
note: named by Norwegian adventurer Erik THORVALDSSON (Erik the Red) in A.D. 985 in order to entice settlers to the island

Dependency status:
part of the Kingdom of Denmark; self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark since 1979

Government type:
parliamentary democracy (Parliament of Greenland or Inatsisartut)

name: Nuuk (Godthaab)
geographic coordinates: 64 11 N, 51 45 W
time difference: UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
note: Greenland has four time zones

etymology: "nuuk" is the Inuit word for "cape" and refers to the city's position at the end of the Nuup Kangerlua fjord

Administrative divisions:
5 municipalities (kommuner, singular kommune); Avannaata, Kujalleq, Qeqertalik, Qeqqata, Sermersooq
note: Northeast Greenland National Park (Kalaallit Nunaanni Nuna Eqqissisimatitaq) and the Thule Air Base in Pituffik (in northwest Greenland) are two unincorporated areas; the national park's 972,000 sq km - about 46% of the island - makes it the largest national park in the world and also the most northerly

none (extensive self-rule as part of the Kingdom of Denmark; foreign affairs is the responsibility of Denmark, but Greenland actively participates in international agreements relating to Greenland)

National holiday:
National Day, June 21; note - marks the summer solstice and the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere

history: previous 1953 (Greenland established as a constituency in the Danish constitution), 1979 (Greenland Home Rule Act); latest 21 June 2009 (Greenland Self-Government Act)

Legal system:
the laws of Denmark apply where applicable and Greenlandic law applies to other areas

see Denmark

18 years of age; universal
[see also: Suffrage country ranks ]

Executive branch:
chief of state: Queen MARGRETHE II of Denmark (since 14 January 1972), represented by High Commissioner Mikaela ENGELL (since April 2011)
head of government: Premier Kim KIELSEN (since 30 September 2014)
cabinet: Self-rule Government (Naalakkersuisut) elected by the Parliament (Inatsisartut) on the basis of the strength of parties
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; high commissioner appointed by the monarch; premier indirectly elected by Parliament for a 4-year term
election results: Kim KIELSEN elected premier; Parliament vote - Kim KIELSEN (S) 27.2%, Sara OLSVIG (IA) 25.5%, Randi Vestergaard EVALDSEN (D) 19.5%, other 27.8%

Legislative branch:
description: unicameral Parliament or Inatsisartut (31 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)
Greenland elects 2 members to the Danish Parliament to serve 4-year terms
elections: Greenland Parliament - last held on 24 April 2018 (next to be held by 2022)
Greenland members to Danish Parliament -  last held on 5 June 2019(next to be held by 4 June 2023)
election results: Greenland Parliament percent of vote by party - S 27.2%, IA 25.5%, D 19.5%, PN 13.4%, A 5.9%, SA 4.1%, NQ 3.4% other 1%; seats by party - S 9, IA 8, D 6, PN 4, A 2, SA 1, NQ 1; composition - men 19, women 12, percent of women 38.7%

Greenland members in Danish Parliament - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - IA 1, S 1; composition - 2 women

Judicial branch:
highest courts: High Court of Greenland (consists of the presiding professional judge and 2 lay assessors); note - appeals beyond the High Court of Greenland can be heard by the Supreme Court (in Copenhagen)
judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the monarch upon the recommendation of the Judicial Appointments Council, a 6-member independent body of judges and lawyers; judges appointed for life with retirement at age 70
subordinate courts: Court of Greenland; 18 district or magistrates' courts

Political parties and leaders:
Cooperation Party (Suleqatigiissitsisut or Samarbejdspartiet) or SA [Michael ROSING]
Democrats Party (Demokraatit) or D [Niels THOMSEN]
Forward Party (Siumut) or S [Kim KIELSEN]
Inuit Community (Inuit Ataqatigiit) or IA [Sara OLSVIG]
Our Country's Future (Nunatta Qitornai) or NQ [Vittus QUJAUKITSOQ]
Signpost Party (Partii Naleraq) or PN [Hans ENOKSEN]
Fellowship Party (Atassut) or A [Siverth Karl HEILMANN]

International organization participation:
Arctic Council, ICC, NC, NIB, UPU

Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark); note - Greenland has an office in the Danish Embassy in the US; it also has offices in the Danish consulates in Chicago and New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
none (self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark)

Flag description:
two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red with a large disk slightly to the hoist side of center - the top half of the disk is red, the bottom half is white; the design represents the sun reflecting off a field of ice; the colors are the same as those of the Danish flag and symbolize Greenland's links to the Kingdom of Denmark

National symbol(s):
polar bear; national colors: red, white

National anthem:
name: "Nunarput utoqqarsuanngoravit" ("Our Country, Who's Become So Old" also translated as "You Our Ancient Land")
lyrics/music: Henrik LUND/Jonathan PETERSEN
note: adopted 1916; the government also recognizes "Nuna asiilasooq" as a secondary anthem

NOTE: 1) The information regarding Greenland on this page is re-published from the 2020 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Greenland Government 2020 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Greenland Government 2020 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.
2) The rank that you see is the CIA reported rank, which may have the following issues:
  a) They assign increasing rank number, alphabetically for countries with the same value of the ranked item, whereas we assign them the same rank.
  b) The CIA sometimes assigns counterintuitive ranks. For example, it assigns unemployment rates in increasing order, whereas we rank them in decreasing order.

This page was last modified 27-Jan-20
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