From Iceland — Iceland's New Government Announced

Iceland’s New Government Announced

Published November 28, 2021

Photo by
Silje Bergum Kinsten/norden.org

Following the longest parliamentary break in Icelandic history, and negotiations between the Left-Greens, the Independence Party and the Progressive Party which began shortly after the September 25th elections, Iceland’s new government has at last been announced.

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These changes include not only who will be a minister, but also what the ministries even are. Some new ministries have been created. The Left-Greens will continue to have three ministries, and the Independence Party will continue to have five, but the Progressive Party will now have four ministries under their control.

This is most likely due to the strong showing the Progressives made on election night; while the Left-Greens had lost three seats since the 2017 elections and the Independence Party held their own, the Progressives added five seats to their ranks.

As such, the ministerial composition is now the following, with VG (Left-Greens), D (Independence Party) and B (Progressive Party) indicating party affiliation, as per their official party symbols:

Prime Minister: Katrín Jakobsdóttir (VG)
Minister of Finance: Bjarni Bene­dikts­son (D)
Minister of Infrastructure: Sig­urður Ingi Jóhanns­son (B)
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Þór­dís Kol­brún R. Gylfa­dóttir (D)
Minister of Health: Willum Þór Þórs­son (B)
Minister of Social and Job Market Affairs: Guð­mundur Ingi Guð­brands­son (VG)
Minister of Food, Fishing and Agriculture: Svan­dís Svav­ars­dóttir (VG)
Minister of Justice: Jón Gunnarson (D) for half the term, followed by Guð­rún Haf­steins­dóttir (D)
Minister of Schools and Children’s Affairs: Ásmundur Einar Daða­son (B)
Minister of Business and Culture: Lilja Alfreðs­dóttir (B)
Minister of the Environment, Energy and Climate Affairs: Guð­laugur Þór Þórð­ar­son (D)
Minister of Innovation, Industry and Universities: Áslaug Arna Sig­ur­björns­dóttir (D)

As can be seen, most of these ministers were also ministers during the previous term, but only Katrín and Bjarni retained their original positions. Willum, Jón and Guðrún are completely new to ministerial positions.

A large part of the delay was due to the government deciding not to announce a new government until the committee investigating the Northwest District ballot counting scandal reached a conclusion. Ultimately, the majority of the investigating committee decided to let the results of the recount held there to stand as valid. This cleared the way for the new government to be announced.

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