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Iceland Government 2020

SOURCE: 2020 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES











Iceland Government 2020
SOURCE: 2020 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCES


Page last updated on January 27, 2020

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Iceland
conventional short form: Iceland
local long form: Lydveldid Island
local short form: Island
etymology: Floki VILGERDARSON, an early explorer of the island (9th century), applied the name "Land of Ice" after spotting a fjord full of drift ice to the north and spending a bitter winter on the island; he eventually settled on the island, however, after he saw how it greened up in the summer and that it was, in fact, habitable

Government type:
unitary parliamentary 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)
etymology: the name means "smoky bay" in Icelandic and refers to the steamy, smoke-like vapors discharged by hot springs in the area

Administrative divisions:
74 municipalities (sveitarfelog, singular - sveitarfelagidh); Akrahreppur, Akraneskaupstadhur, Akureyrarkaupstadhur, Arneshreppur, Asahreppur, Blaskogabyggdh, Blonduosbaer, Bolungarvikurkaupstadhur, Borgarbyggdh, Borgarfjardharhreppur, Breidhdalshreppur, Dalabyggdh, Dalvikurbyggdh, Djupavogshreppur, Eyjafjardharsveit, Eyja-og Miklaholtshreppur, Fjallabyggdh, Fjardhabyggdh, Fljotsdalsheradh, Fljotsdalshreppur, Floahreppur, Gardhabaer, Grimsnes-og Grafningshreppur, Grindavikurbaer, Grundarfjardharbaer, Grytubakkahreppur, Hafnarfjardharkaupstadhur, Helgafellssveit, Horgarsveit, Hrunamannahreppur, Hunathing Vestra, Hunavatnshreppur, Hvalfjardharsveit, Hveragerdhisbaer, Isafjardharbaer, Kaldrananeshreppur, Kjosarhreppur, Kopavogsbaer, Langanesbyggdh, Mosfellsbaer, Myrdalshreppur, Nordhurthing, Rangarthing Eystra, Rangarthing Ytra, Reykholahreppur, Reykjanesbaer, Reykjavikurborg, Sandgerdhisbaer, Seltjarnarnesbaer, Seydhisfjardharkaupstadhur, Skaftarhreppur, Skagabyggdh, Skeidha-og Gnupverjahreppur, Skorradalshreppur, Skutustadhahreppur, Snaefellsbaer, Strandabyggdh, Stykkisholmsbaer, Sudhavikurhreppur, Svalbardhshreppur, Svalbardhsstrandarhreppur, Sveitarfelagidh Arborg, Sveitarfelagidh Gardhur, Sveitarfelagidh Hornafjordhur, Sveitarfelagidh Olfus, Sveitarfelagidh Skagafjordhur, Sveitarfelagidh Skagastrond, Sveitarfelagidh Vogar, Talknafjardharhreppur, Thingeyjarsveit, Tjorneshreppur, Vestmannaeyjabaer, Vesturbyggdh, Vopnafjardharhreppur

Independence:
1 December 1918 (became a sovereign state under the Danish Crown); 17 June 1944 (from Denmark; birthday of Jon SIGURDSSON, leader of Iceland's 19th Century independence movement)

National holiday:
Independence Day, 17 June (1944)

Constitution:
history: several previous; latest ratified 16 June 1944, effective 17 June 1944 (at independence)
amendments: proposed by the Althingi; passage requires approval by the Althingi and by the next elected Althingi, and confirmation by the president of the republic; proposed amendments to Article 62 of the constitution – that the Evangelical Lutheran Church shall be the state church of Iceland – also require passage by referendum; amended many times, last in 2013 (2016)

Legal system:
civil law system influenced by the Danish model

International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship:
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Iceland
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 3 to 7 years

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

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Gudni Thorlacius JOHANNESSON (since 1 August 2016)
head of government: Prime Minister Katrin JAKOBSDOTTIR (since 30 November 2017)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president upon the recommendation of the prime minister
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 4-year term (no term limits); election last held on 25 June 2016 (next to be held in June 2020); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition becomes prime minister
election results: Gudni Thorlacius JOHANNESSON elected president; percent of vote - Gudni Thorlacius JOHANNESSON 39.1%, Halla TOMASDOTTIR 27.9%, Andri Snaer MAGNASON 14.3%, David ODDSSON 13.7%, Sturla JONSSON 3.5%, invalid 1.5%

Legislative branch:
description: unicameral Althingi or Parliament (63 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 28 October 2017 (next to be held in 2021)
election results: percent of vote by party - IP 25.2%, LGM 16.9%, SDA 12.1%, CP 10.9%, PP 10.7%, Pirate Party 9.2%, People's Party 6.9%, Reform Party 6.7%. other 1.5%; seats by party - IP 16, LGM 11, SDA 7, CP 7, PP 8, Pirate Party 6, Reform Party 4, People's Party 4

Judicial branch:
highest courts: Supreme Court or Haestirettur (consists of 9 judges)
judge selection and term of office: judges proposed by Ministry of Interior selection committee and appointed by the president; judges appointed for an indefinite period
subordinate courts: Appellate Court or Landsrettur; 8 district courts; Labor Court

Political parties and leaders:
Centrist Party (Midflokkurinn) or CP [Sigmundur David GUNNLAUGSSON]
Independence Party (Sjalfstaedisflokkurinn) or IP [Bjarni BENEDIKTSSON]
Left-Green Movement (Vinstrihreyfingin-graent frambod) or LGM [Katrin JAKOBSDOTTIR]
People's Party (Flokkur Folksins) [Inga SAELAND]
Pirate Party (Piratar) [rotating leadership]
Progressive Party (Framsoknarflokkurinn) or PP [Sigurdur Ingi JOHANNSSON]
Reform Party (Vidreisn) [Thorgerdur Katrin GUNNARSDOTTIR]
Social Democratic Alliance (Samfylkingin) or SDA [Logi Mar EINARSSON]

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

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Ambassador Geir Hilmar HAARDE (since 23 February 2015)
chancery: House of Sweden, 2900 K Street NW, #509, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 265-6653
FAX: [1] (202) 265-6656
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jeffrey Ross GUNTER (since 2 July 2019)
telephone: [354] 595-2200
embassy: Laufasvegur 21, 101 Reykjavik
mailing address: US Department of State, 5640 Reykjavik Place, Washington, D.C. 20521-5640
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); the colors represent three of the elements that make up the island: red is for the island's volcanic fires, white recalls the snow and ice fields of the island, and blue is for the surrounding ocean

National symbol(s):
gyrfalcon; national colors: blue, white, red

National anthem:
name: "Lofsongur" (Song of Praise)
lyrics/music: Matthias JOCHUMSSON/Sveinbjorn SVEINBJORNSSON
note: adopted 1944; also known as "O, Gud vors lands" (O, God of Our Land), the anthem was originally written and performed in 1874


NOTE: 1) The information regarding Iceland 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 Iceland Government 2020 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Iceland 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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